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    52 Facts About Space That Will Either Fascinate You Or Keep You Pondering All Night

    Casually thinking about how we're just a tiny speck in the universe — no big deal.

    Found yourself ~spacing out~ recently? We've rounded up a bunch of interesting facts about space that are truly out of this world. We might all just be tiny specks in a vast universe, but what a fascinating universe it is!

    1. Anytime you look up at the sky, you are seeing the universe as it was in the past.

    View of space

    2. It would take Usain Bolt — running at his highest recorded speed — a little over 262 days to trek the distance of Saturn's rings.

    Saturn's rings

    3. There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on the Earth.

    stars

    4. Scientists have found a void in space 1 billion miles wide that could be a parallel universe.

    space

    5. There might be another planet on the rim of our solar system.

    a planet

    6. Some nebulae have night lights made of new stars.

    a nebula

    7. The height of the nebula below is the same distance as 23 million trips to the moon.

    a nebula

    8. A black hole the size of one atom has the mass of a large mountain.

    black hole

    9. There are over 500,000 pieces of "space junk" floating above the Earth, and they're moving at speeds up to 17,500 mph.

    space junk

    10. It's also true that, on average, a bit of debris crashes back to Earth about once a week.

    floating debris

    11. It's true that in space, no one can hear you scream.

    space

    12. Do you still think you're all that? Jupiter's Great Red Spot in the center left of the photo above is roughly the size of Earth.

    Jupiter's Great Red Spot

    13. To match the energy the Sun produces, you would need to light 100 billion tons of dynamite every second.

    the Sun

    14. If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 1/100 of one pound on a comet, meaning you could just jump and you'd start floating off into space.

    a comet

    15. It would take 100,000 years to travel across our galaxy if you were going the speed of light.

    the Milky Way galaxy

    16. There's a gold-plated Earth soundtrack almost 11 billion miles away.

    17. The picture below covers a distance of 50 light-years.

    50 light-years

    18. All of the stars, galaxies, and planets only make up 4% of the universe.

    dark matter

    19. Scientists predict our Sun has 5 billion years left to live. However, humans most likely only have 1 billion years.

    a dying star

    20. If you put your finger over a star in the sky, you are preventing photons that have travelled to Earth undisturbed for millions of years from finally entering your eye.

    A starry blue night sky with the outline of large fir trees at the bottom

    21. Do you know where the coldest place in the known universe is? How about the hottest? Well, they're both right here on Earth!

    Large Hadron Collider

    22. And in around 4.5 billion years, the Milky Way is expected to collide with the Andromeda galaxy, our closest galactic neighbor, to form a giant elliptical galaxy.

    an elliptical galaxy

    23. Did you know that all of the planets in our solar system can fit in between the Earth and the Moon, with about 2,729 miles to spare?

    the planets lined up with the Earth and the Moon on either side

    24. There is a planet in our galaxy where the temperature during the day can reach over 1,000 degrees Celsius, and it possibly rains molten glass horizontally at around 4,500 mph!

    a planet where glass is raining

    25. So we know that light takes a long time to travel through space, right? Well, there are actually some parts of the universe we can't see because the light from there hasn't reached us yet.

    the night sky

    26. Although, soon the James Webb Space Telescope will allow us to explore galaxies that were formed at the very beginning of the universe, and observe stars forming planetary systems.

    James Webb Telescope

    27. The biggest star known to man is UY Scuti, which has a radius about 1,700 times larger than the Sun.

    comparing UY Scuti to the Sun

    28. But here's the thing: There is such a phenomenon as the Kessler Effect, in which a single destructive event in Earth's low orbit could cause all satellites to break up into smaller and smaller fragments until the planet is surrounded by a massive cloud of shrapnel.

    satellites entering Earth's atmosphere

    29. There's a rogue supermassive black hole speeding through space at around 5 million miles per hour.

    black hole

    30. The Voyager 1 spacecraft will likely outlive planet Earth itself.

    Voyager 1 spacecraft

    31. Venus looked pretty much exactly like Earth does now around 2 billion years ago.

    Venus; Earth

    32. It's possible for two pieces of the same metal to actually fuse together if they touch in outer space.

    debris in space

    33. There are rogue planets that have been knocked out of orbit just chilling out in the universe, and they could do the same to another planet.

    rogue planets in space

    34. Dark matter is believed to be responsible for 85% of gravity in the universe, and no one knows what it is or how it works.

    the universe

    35. According to quantum mechanics, there's a small chance the entire universe could spontaneously disappear and never come back.

    a void in space

    36. This isn't a fact per se, but have you considered the possibility that we've already sent a message to an alien race in the distant past and it's still making its way to them?

    space and the words "Hi!" and "Hey!" on either side

    37. The Sun makes up 99.8% of the mass of the solar system.

    the solar system and the sun

    38. There’s a gas cloud in the constellation of Aquila that holds enough alcohol to make 400 trillion trillion pints of beer.

    the sky at night

    39. We’ve found over a thousand planets outside our solar system just in the last 20 years.

    the solar system

    40. It takes a photon, on average, 170,000 years to travel from the core of the Sun to the surface.

    sun with star in space

    41. Interstellar space sounds kind of eerie.

    View this video on YouTube

    NASA / Via youtube.com

    42. Saturn's rings sort of vanish every now and then.

    Saturn

    43. Saturn has a huge extra ring that was only discovered in 2009.

    3d image of saturn

    44. There's an asteroid called Chariklo in our solar system that has rings, like Saturn.

    asteroid

    45. More solar energy reaches Earth's surface in an hour and a half than we used in the whole of 2001.

    solar power plant

    46. If you fell into a black hole, you'd get stretched out like spaghetti.

    black hole at the center of the gakaxy

    47. Undisturbed, footprints would last forever on the Moon.

    a footprint on the moon

    48. There's a hexagonal cloud at Saturn's north pole.

    saturn

    49. A star was recently discovered that had been lost in the glare of a supernova for 21 years.

    a person looking at stars in the sky

    50. Dung beetles can use the Milky Way to navigate.

    a dung beetle

    51. A Mars-sized object probably crashed into Earth 4.5 billion years ago.

    3d image of mars

    52. And finally, we are all made of stardust.

    stardust

    What's the coolest fact you've ever learned about space? Feel free to drop it in the comments below!

    This article contains content from Audrey Engvalson, Sam Cleal, and Kelly Oakes. It was compiled by Salimah McCullough.