Fun Facts!

  • This post is for sharing interesting earth/space facts! Check back here for more fun facts from me or share some of your own!

    FUN FACT: Dead stars may guide future spaceships! At a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, researchers from SEXTANT presented their work on a promising candidate for interstellar guidance systems. This system, which scientists said operates like an "interstellar GPS", uses the intermittent radiation bursts generated by residual energy within dead stars to plot a spacecraft's relative location in space.

  • @Jessica-Swann Wow! Thank you for this interesting fact. This has been an extremely busy year with all of the crossovers in multidisciplinary educational models.

  • FUN FACT: Planetary scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey published a study proposing the existence of shallowly buried ice sheets on Mars's surface. Experts say that these sheets, potentially only buried beneath one meter of soil, may one day provide astronauts on Mars with secure oxygen, water, and even fuel!

  • FUN FACT: Astronomers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey announced the discovery of a distant ring of stars that seem to surround our galaxy. Experts say that the ring is proof that our galaxy was formed from the merger of several smaller galaxies, and that the Milky Way's starry halo is most likely being held together by gravitational forces produced by unseen dark matter. Researchers were thrilled by the discovery, saying that the band of stars is perfectly positioned for them to measure dark and light masses within its structure.

  • FUN FACT: Astronomers detect galactic geysers fueled by stars! An international group of scientists collaborating through the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth, Australia, observed massive waves of charged particles emanating from the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Described by Professor Lister Staveley from the University of Western Australia as containing more energy than "a million stars going supernova," the waves are thought to be the result of countless generations of stars dying and being reborn. Fortunately for Earth, the particle waves are moving away from the planet.

  • FUN FACT: Astronomers from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Granada, Spain, using a dozen telescopes from ten separate observatories, detected the first cosmic object beyond Neptune to possess a ring of debris and stellar particles. Haumea, as the dwarf planet is known, rests within the Kuiper Belt, a field of icy objects just past Neptune's orbit. A little more than half as wide as the continental United States, Haumea was found to possess a relatively thin ring residing 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) above its surface. Experts say that this discovery disrupts previous models of the solar system and allows for the possibility of cosmic objects previously thought impossible.

  • FUN FACT! Astronomers from Hampton University in Virginia published findings arguing that massive storms of fine-grained soil on Mars are stripping the planet of the little water it still possesses. Through analysis of more than a decade of the images provided by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, experts discovered traces of water vapor nearly 80 kilometers (50 miles) above Mars's surface. At this height, ultraviolet light from our sun is strong enough to degrade water molecules, allowing its hydrogen component to break free and drift into space. Past studies theorized that the majority of Mars's once-abundant water was lost to this form of hydrogen escape!

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