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Would you like to gain a little knowledge about the Universe and Life?

Six short articles with content that you may find educational.

By A B ForbesPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
Image credit. Mylene2401 from Pixabay


British spelling.

Oxygen transformed our planet.

An adult human being inhales about 11,000 litres of air each day, 21% of that daily intake is oxygen.

We use some of that oxygen to keep us alive, body cells depend on it for energy and growth.

If we go back far enough into the Earth's history we find that there was little or no oxygen in the atmosphere or the oceans.

Long before the great oxidation event, microorganisms were living on the surface of our planet. One of the most important was Cyanobacteria because they evolved a way of taking energy from sunlight (photosynthesis) and the by-product of that process is oxygen.

Regarding life, the arrival of oxygen was the most important thing to happen to our world. This new element triggered the evolution of far more complex life forms, including you and me.



Apollo 11. A very exciting time.

Over 50 years have passed since Neil Armstrong said those famous four words "The Eagle has landed"

Image credit. Taro Tsuji Unsplash.

I remember looking up at the Moon on the night of July 20th, 1969, I could hardly believe that two men were walking on its surface. I felt so lucky to have been the age to witness and understand that great event, and so proud of the human race for what they had achieved.

As Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin travelled down to the Moon's surface in the lunar module, a third Astronaut Michael Collins waited for them to return as he circled the Moon in the command module.

It must have been a very worrying day for Michael, as there was a chance that he would be going home alone.



Just an illusion.

When viewing the Moon and the Sun from Earth, they appear the same size. We get proof of this when the Moon covers the Sun at the time of a total solar eclipse.

Image credit. ipicgr Pixabay.

But why do they look the same size?

The Moon has a diameter of 3,475 kilometres, but the Sun's diameter is 1,392,680 kilometres.

The Moon is 384,400 kilometres from the Earth, but the Sun is almost 150 million kilometres.

Obviously, the Moon is closer and the Sun is farther away, but by sheer chance, the Sun is roughly 400 times wider and 400 times farther away than the Moon.

It won't always be like this, as the Moon is slowly moving away from our planet. There will come a time when there will be no more total solar eclipses as the Moon will be visibly too small to cover the Sun.



Our amazing brain.

Sitting above your shoulders is the most complex single object in the known Universe, namely your brain.

Image credit. Pete Linforth Pixabay.

Our brain controls memory, thought, emotion, touch, vision and breathing. It also controls our temperature, hunger and every other process that regulates our bodies.

It can store memories that reach back decades.

One of the most powerful desktop computers that you can buy has 4 terabytes of storage.

There is a professor that has calculated that the human brain can store 2.5 petabytes of data. That equates to 2,500 terabytes.

There we have it, the most powerful home computer: 4 terabytes, our brain 2,500 terabytes.

So what is the reason for the existence of this amazing object?

For me, the only plausible reason is evolution. Has anyone a more believable explanation?



Our party balloons.

Most of us will have received a helium-filled balloon at some time in our lives.

Image credit. Siora Photography Unsplash.

You would think that hydrogen (symbol H) the lightest element, would be the first choice, but hydrogen is flammable when mixed with air and can explode.

Helium, the second lightest element (symbol He) is non-flammable, therefore it is safer to use in party balloons.

Use enough helium balloons and they will lift heavy weights. An average-sized helium balloon will lift 14 grams. I weigh around 80 kilograms / 176 pounds, therefore the number of balloons needed to lift me off the ground would be roughly 5,700.

Although helium is safe to use in a balloon, it should never be inhaled. The funny voice can be amusing, but it can lead to hypoxia, (the lack of oxygen)



Why do we weigh a certain amount?

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

Image credit. kalhh Pixabay.

I weigh 80 kilograms on Earth, but if I took the next flight to the Moon and weighed myself there, I would weigh in at 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 towards the centre of the Moon with less force.

On Mars, my weight would be just over 30 kilograms and 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 that of our planet.

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

End of article.


You may enjoy reading some of my easy-to-understand articles regarding the Universe and Life.

Free reads.


About the Creator

A B Forbes

I hope you find some of my articles interesting.

Our highly developed brain has given us intelligence and curiosity, now with the help of sophisticated scientific instruments, we can try and make sense of the Universe and our existence.

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  • A B Forbes (Author)4 months ago

    Author. My articles are written for people with an average understanding of the universe and life. We are not all experts. I hope you gain some knowledge if you decide to read them. Regards.

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