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18 Facts About Space That'll Make You Feel Uncomfortably Vulnerable

Nothing to freak out about – we're just unbelievably small flecks of stardust in a giant, scary universe.

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

Nasa / Getty Images

If we look at an object 50 million light-years away, we are seeing what the object looked like 50 million years ago because that's how long it took the light to travel from the object to our eyes.

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.

Nasa / Getty Images

To put this into perspective, if he ran his top speed around the Earth, it would only take him around 37 days.

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

Afp / AFP / Getty Images

In case you were wondering, scientists estimate there are seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains of sand. In case you wanted to see that in number form, there are more than 7,500,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the sky. That's a lot of zeroes.

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

ESA/Hubble and NASA / Via

This void has no matter (empty or dark) in it and is 40 times larger than the biggest void previously on record. Although this theory is controversial, Some scientists hypothesize that this may be where a parallel universe has crashed into ours, leading to speculations of a multiverse.


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

NASA/JPL-Caltech / Via

Some astronomers have found evidence of a ninth planet far beyond Neptune (I'm sorry to those of you who are still sore about the whole "Pluto isn't a planet" thing). Although it has yet to be observed, the astronomers have noticed strange orbital patterns of smaller objects in the Kuiper Belt.

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

Robert Gendler / Getty Images

Nebulae are made up of gasses, so the way we get these psychedelic pictures are from young glowing stars that illuminate them from behind. However, new stars are roughly 6,750° F, so we don't recommend using them as your own personal night light.

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

Nasa / Getty Images

The Cone Nebula is seven light-years high, meaning you would need to stack roughly 10.5 trillion Earths to get to the top of it.

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

NASA/JPL-Caltech / Via

There is a black hole at the center of our galaxy called Sagittarius A, with a mass equal to four billion of our Suns. Don't worry, though. It's so far away from Earth that we don't have to worry about getting sucked in. It's really only worth having one or two nightmares about.


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

NASA, ESA, NRAO/AUI/NSF and G. Dubner (University of Buenos Aires) / Via

When sound travels through mechanical waves, it needs something to travel through. Here on Earth, it mostly travels through the air. Particles are too far spread in space for our ears to pick up those mechanical waves. There are a few exceptions though, like sounds that travel electromagnetically, such as the radio.

11. 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.

Nasa / Getty Images / Via

Not only is Jupiter 11 times wider than earth, the radiation it gives off is 1,000 times greater than the lethal level for a human.

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

Hinode, JAXA/NASA / Via

100 billion tons of dynamite is equal to roughly 400 trillion sticks of dynamite. I don't think Wile E. Coyote even has that much dynamite.


13. 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.

NASA/MSFC/Aaron Kingery / Via

That means, if an average male hippopotamus (3,750 pounds) was on a comet, he would only weigh 3/8 pound. However, we never suggest you or your hippopotamus try jumping off of comets.

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

NASA / Via

In 1977, NASA launched Voyager and Voyager 2. Mounted on the side of each spacecraft is a golden record of the sounds that make Earth, Earth. You can listen to the tunes they put on the track, which includes greetings, music, and nature sounds. I'm not going to tell you to add them to your Pandora stations, but you probably should.

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

NASA / Via

Each of those dots in the picture above is a star, like our Sun. The distance across our Sun is 864,000 miles, which is 109 times wider than Earth. Think of all


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

Nasa / Getty Images

The other 96% of the galaxy, scientists can't explain yet. It's made out of things that are invisible or incomprehensible, like dark matter and dark energy.

18. Scientists predict our Sun has five billion years left to live. However, humans most likely only have one billion years.

NASA / Via

When stars die, they will explode into supernovas after they crush under their own gravity. In its final stages of life, the Sun will heat and expand to the point of our oceans boiling and our Earth becoming too hot to inhabit. METAL AF.