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Detailed Answers to Five Interesting Questions

Answers that may stir your imagination.

By Unravelling the UniversePublished 5 months ago 3 min read
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Detailed Answers to Five Interesting Questions
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

British spelling

This is not a quiz, but the answers to these five questions may interest you.

One: What is the name of the most distant man-made object that has ever left our planet?

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Two: Why do we weigh a certain amount?

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Three: What is a black hole?

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Four: How far have our radio signals gone?

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Five: What is the coldest temperature possible?

By Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

Answers

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One

The space probe Voyager 1 left the Earth in 1977, two weeks after its twin Voyager 2.

Voyager 1 continues to travel through space at over 60,000 kilometres per hour and is the most distant man-made object that has ever left our planet.

To us, that speed seems very fast, but to put it into perspective.

Imagine if Voyager 1 were to change direction and travel towards Sagittarius A* the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way. That epic journey would take roughly 450 million years.

As of January 2024, that small probe is over 24 billion kilometres from Earth.

Chances are that Voyager 1 will still be travelling through space as the last human on Earth dies.

I wonder if, in the distant future, another intelligent life form will discover our tiny probe.

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Two

Weight is the result of the force of gravity acting upon an object, which can change if the force of gravity changes.

I weigh 80 kilograms on Earth, but if I took the next flight to the Moon and weighed myself there, I would weigh just over 13 kg, the reason being, is that the Moon’s gravity is much less than that of the Earth, therefore I am being pulled down on the scales with less force.

On Mars, my weight would be just over 30 kilograms. If it was possible to stand on the Sun (which I am not recommending) my weight would be over 2,165 kilograms. The Sun’s gravity is almost 28 times as strong as the Earth's.

And if I was floating in outer space with no gravitational attraction from any objects, my weight would be zero.

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Three

Ton 618 is the largest known supermassive black hole, it has a diameter of roughly 390 billion kilometres and contains 66 billion times the mass of the Sun.

These few lines should give you a better idea of how dense black holes are. No other object in the known Universe has more density.

The Sun has a diameter of 1,392,680 kilometres, to reach the density of a black hole it would have to be compressed down to about 6 kilometres in diameter.

Our planet Earth is 12,742 kilometres wide, Hypothetically, all of its mass would need to be contained in a very dense sphere roughly the size of a grape before it became a black hole.

Yes, black holes are amazing objects.

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Four

The first radio broadcast was transmitted around 1920, radio waves travel at the same speed as visible light, an incredible 1,080 million kilometres per hour.

Those early signals are still travelling through space, and are now 955 trillion kilometres from the Earth.

If another intelligent life form received them now and sent a radio signal back, we would have to wait over 100 years for the reply.

Imagine a sphere 200 light-years in diameter with the Earth at the centre, that is how big a footprint our radio signals have in space.

Now imagine the size of that sphere inside our galaxy, which has a diameter of well over 100,000 light-years.

Considering the vast distances, you can understand why we have never heard from extraterrestrials.

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Five

We often talk about how cold or how hot something is —these few lines may be of interest to you.

Higher temperatures can get extremely hot. The core of the Sun can reach 15 million degrees Celsius, which is nothing compared to the higher temperature scale.

Cold temperatures are more understandable.

The lowest recorded temperature on the surface of the Earth was at the Soviet Vostok Station, Antarctica, at a very cold -89.2 degrees Celsius.

But it can get a lot colder in the far reaches of outer space. The dwarf planet Pluto is much farther away from the Sun than any of the planets in the Solar System. Its surface temperature can be as low as -240 degrees Celsius.

But it doesn’t end there — absolute zero is the lowest temperature possible at -273.15 degrees Celsius or -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit.

The end.

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You may find my easy-to-understand stories about the universe and life interesting and educational.

If you subscribe to me for free, you will see my latest stories. Regards.

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About the Creator

Unravelling the Universe

We can only imagine what our early ancestors thought as they gazed up at the night sky—were they curious about what the heavens had to hide? 

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  • Steven Christopher McKnight5 months ago

    Highly insightful!

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