12 Fun Facts About Space For Kids (2023 Updated)
We typically use the single word “space” to describe our expanding universe. But first, what is space?
The terms space and universe are similar; outer space only refers to the region between planets, whereas the universe also includes planets. Space is almost entirely devoid of matter, has very low pressure, and is virtually a perfect vacuum. Bits of gas, dust, and other matter floats in the “emptier” (but not quite empty) parts of the universe, while you can find planets, stars, and galaxies in the more congested parts. The Kármán line, located about 62 miles above sea level, is where we on Earth typically think outer space starts. This is an arbitrary line at an altitude where there isn’t much air to breathe or light to disperse. Beyond this altitude, blue begins to give way to black because there aren’t enough oxygen molecules to keep the sky blue.
12 fun facts about space.
1. The actual size of space is unknown!
Because of what we can see in our detectors, it is challenging to determine the full extent of Space. We use “light-years” to measure vast space stretches; one “light-year” equals approximately 5.8 trillion miles of light-years.
We have mapped galaxies almost as far back as the Big Bang, which is thought to have begun our universe around 13.8 billion years ago, from the light visible in our telescopes. This indicates that we can look into space at a distance of roughly 13.8 billion light-years. But as the universe grows, it becomes more challenging to measure space. The appropriate distance—the distance as it would be measured at a particular moment, including the present—between Earth and the end of the visible universe is 46 billion light-years, making the diameter of the observable universe approximately 93 billion light-years. This implies that space may be far more extensive than we now believe. In addition, scientists are not entirely sure that our universe is the only one that exists.
2. Space is mostly empty.
The majority of space is essentially scattered dust and gas particles. This implies that a probe sent by humans won’t experience “drag” as an airliner does as it travels through space. Research has revealed that the “emptier” parts of space are home to several types of radiation and the debris fragments that cover them. The solar wind, which is charged particles that pour from the sun, occasionally produces auroras close to Earth’s poles and travel across our solar system. Additionally, cosmic rays from supernovae outside the solar system pierce our neighborhood.
3. Dark Matter and Dark Energy make up 80% of the universe.
Even while dark matter and dark energy are believed to exist, there is still much unknown about them because, up to this point, scientists have been unable to view them directly and can only study their effects.
It is unknown what dark matter is or if it even qualifies as matter by our current definition, which accounts for over 80% of the universe’s mass. Dark matter does not emit light or energy and cannot be viewed directly. Scientists discovered compelling evidence that dark matter constitutes the vast bulk of the universe. Despite sharing a moniker with dark matter, dark energy is an entirely separate substance. Scientists believe that dark energy is a mysterious and unidentified force or entity and is to blame for the universe’s unceasing expansion.
4. The average temperature in space is -455 degrees Farhenite.
Space is heated in certain places. The solar wind and the gas between stars appear to be “empty space,” but they can be hotter by thousands or millions of degrees—the cosmos’s temperature is 455 degrees below zero. Since much of the gas in space is too thin, nothing can be heated. In essence, there aren’t enough gas particles for an item to “bump” into and conduct heat from. If you were in space and protected from the sun, you would quickly lose almost all of your heat and cool to the temperature of the cosmos. This cold temperature is not consistent throughout the universe; the temperature around asteroids and plants is relatively warmer as these objects have the energy to absorb the sun’s heat.
5. Space has something called “Black holes,” which is very dangerous.
Image Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/
Black holes are regions of space where the gravitational force is so strong that light itself cannot escape.
Since the mass is compressed into an incredibly small area, gravity is highly intense. People cannot observe black holes because it is impossible for light to escape from them. Specialized space telescopes can help discover them because they can help researchers observe how the stars that are the closest to the black holes behave differently from the ones farther away.
Black holes can be classified as being small, stellar, or supermassive. Scientists have discovered that each giant galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its center.
6. There are about 170 million items of “space junk” in space.
Space waste is referred to as space debris by NASA, which includes both natural particles (such as meteoroids) and artificial particles (like the things those of us on Earth make). We have launched more than 8,593 spacecraft throughout our decades-long space exploration. Each launch leaves a piece of waste in orbit, ranging from ships to satellites and even cars. That is more than 170 million debris pieces, thousands larger than softballs, orbiting our globe. About 50,000 of these small and huge objects are currently being monitored by NASA. If the debris in space is above the atmosphere of the Earth, it can remain in orbit for generations. The largest and oldest piece of artificial junk found so far comes from the 1958 American Vanguard 1 spacecraft.
7. There is no sound in space.
Because space is a vacuum and sound travels by the vibration of particles, sound doesn’t exist in space, at least not in how we view it on Earth. Air molecules vibrate to produce sound on Earth, but in nearly empty areas of space, there are no (or very, very few) particles to vibrate; hence there is no sound. We’re fortunate that’s the case because, if it weren’t, the sound of the Sun would be audible to us on Earth at an astonishing 100 dB, which would be like listening to a nonstop metal concert.
8. It is estimated that there are an infinite number of stars in the universe.
On a clear night, thousands of stars are visible in the sky—roughly 6,000. However, that is a small portion of all the stars in the universe. We can’t see the rest since they are too far away. Astronomers must first estimate the number of galaxies in outer space before determining the number of stars. Astronomers count all the galaxies they can see in the incredibly detailed photos they capture of tiny regions of the sky. Still, there is no way to determine the number of stars in each galaxy. Most are so far away that it’s impossible to know. Above this, the universe is ever-expanding, which is a problem when counting stars. Currently, astronomers and scientists can only estimate the number of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Since there are between 200 and 400 billion stars in the universe and billions of galaxies, the number of stars is truly unfathomable.
9. There is a planet filled with diamonds in space.
Image Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/
Scientists from Yale University announced the discovery of a planet with many diamonds in a paper they published in 2012. Scientists at the time stated that the planet, designated 55 Cancri e, is “perhaps covered in diamond, rather than water and rock.” The exoplanet is eight times more massive than Earth while being twice as big. This super-earth is trapped in a hyper-rapid tidal orbit to its star, 40 light-years from Earth. According to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the temperatures can exceed 9200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 55 Cancri e is estimated to be worth around $26.9 nonillion. According to studies undertaken by researchers at Arizona State University, stars with high carbon-to-oxygen ratios are what tie diamond planets to their stars. They observed that carbide silicon transforms into silica and diamond under pressures greater than 50GPA and temperatures up to 2500 degrees Kelvin.
10. The footprints left on Moon by Neil Armstrong and his team will be there for 100 million years.
Because the moon has no atmosphere and all surface water is frozen as ice, there is no wind or water erosion on the moon like on Earth. There isn’t volcanic activity on the moon to alter its surface features. Nothing is folded back, and nothing is washed away. This implies that the footprints left by the Apollo astronauts and those left by spacecraft, rovers, and trash will remain there for millions of years, maybe as long as the moon lasts.
11. Metals of the same type can fuse in space.
Cold welding is a unique process that occurs when two pieces of the same type of metal come into contact in space and fuse, becoming linked to one another. The lumps of metal come together because the atoms of the various pieces of metal have no means of understanding that they are different pieces of metal. There is always some barrier between the pure metals, which is why this doesn’t happen in real life. Most metals, in particular, form an oxide layer on any surface exposed to air. This serves as a barrier to stop bonding. Since there is no air in space, metals cannot create a protective coating. In reality, any metals that astronauts handle should still be covered in the oxidation from their exposure to air.
12. There is a colossal water cloud floating in space.
Astronomers have discovered the largest known body of water in a giant water vapor cloud that is around 10 billion light-years away and contains 140 trillion times the mass of water in the oceans of the Earth. The quasar is a spectacular phenomenon and one of the most significant discoveries made throughout our universe exploration.
Space is terrific, from its sheer vastness to everything that it holds. It is ever-expanding, and new research keeps popping up daily. There is more knowledge hidden in space than we can ever understand.