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Are all facts about space true or just myths?

By eugene karanjaPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Space, the ultimate frontier, is a vast and enigmatic expanse that has captivated humanity for centuries. Despite all that we have discovered about it, there are still numerous misconceptions surrounding space that have been perpetuated over time. Let's delve into some of the most prevalent falsehoods regarding this fascinating subject.

To begin with, there is the common misconception that space is an untouched wilderness. However, the reality is quite different - we have been polluting space with our debris for decades. From defunct satellites to discarded rocket parts, there are currently over 20,000 fragments of debris orbiting Earth. These objects pose a significant threat to future space missions, highlighting the importance of responsible space exploration. So, if you have aspirations of venturing into space in the near future, be mindful of the potential hazards lurking in orbit.

Did you know that the sun is not actually yellow, but rather green? Well, sort of. Scientists determine the temperature of a star based on the color spectrum it emits. Cooler stars appear red, while the hottest stars emit a blue hue. Our sun predominantly emits energy at a wavelength close to green, but due to the presence of other wavelengths, the colors blend together to create the perception of white light. From the vantage point of Earth, the sun appears yellow due to our atmosphere's ability to scatter blue light. If the sun were truly yellow, our planet would be a frozen wasteland, and we would all be living as polar bears. Additionally, the sun is not ablaze in the traditional sense; rather, it is a massive sphere of gas primarily composed of hydrogen and helium. Functioning as a colossal nuclear reactor, the sun continuously fuses hydrogen atoms to produce helium within its core, generating immense amounts of energy. This process is what sustains the sun's intense heat. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, explosions in space are not feasible. Without the presence of oxygen, which is necessary for combustion, fire cannot occur in the vacuum of space. This dispels the notion of dramatic spacecraft explosions akin to those depicted in science fiction films like Star Wars.

One might assume that the night sky is filled with an overwhelming number of stars beyond counting. However, in reality, it is possible to tally the stars visible to the naked eye. By observing the night sky with patience and attentiveness, one can discern individual stars and appreciate the vastness of the cosmos. This serves as a reminder of the sheer magnitude and complexity of the universe that surrounds us.

The solar system remains stationary, despite the fact that it is moving rapidly through space at a velocity of 140 m/second. This means that it is traversing the cosmos at a speed faster than a cheetah chasing its prey. It takes approximately 230 million years for the solar system to complete a full orbit around the Milky Way. Fortunately, the solar system does not receive a speeding ticket for this incredible speed, as that would be an astronomical fine. Without the presence of the sun, the planets would be extremely cold, with temperatures as low as -455 degrees Fahrenheit. However, thanks to the sun, we are able to enjoy much more comfortable temperatures on the planets. It is important to note that not all planets are the same. For instance, Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, while Venus is further away but somehow manages to be even hotter than Mercury. The distance from the sun is not the sole factor influencing a planet's temperature; other factors such as planet size and reflectivity also play a role. Therefore, it is incorrect to assume that Mercury is the hottest planet in our solar system simply because it is the closest to the sun. Despite certain misconceptions, space remains an awe-inspiring and remarkable phenomenon.

In conclusion, while space continues to captivate us, it enables us to acquire relevant knowledge about the universe we live in.

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  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    Fascinating! This is well written and lots of fun learning!

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