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We Are Mostly Space

A 150-pound or 68-kilogram person's body is made of approximately 6.5 octillion atoms. That number is 6,500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

By A B ForbesPublished 15 days ago 4 min read
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We Are Mostly Space
Photo by David Hofmann on Unsplash

Here are a few of my short-form stories, you may find them interesting and educational.

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We are mostly space.

Atoms make up all the physical things in the universe, but you could say that an atom is mostly empty.

All atoms except one contain protons, neutrons, and electrons; the more protons and neutrons they contain, the heavier they get.

Imagine a hydrogen atom, the simplest and lightest atom in the periodic table. It contains just one proton at its centre and one spinning electron.

The electron's distance from the nucleus (the atom's centre) determines the hydrogen atom's size.

This might explain my heading, "We are mostly space."

Scale up the hydrogen atom to 4 kilometres in diameter. At that scale, the proton in its centre would be the size of a golf ball.

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You can see a spiral galaxy with unaided vision

By Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash

On dark, clear nights, a spiral galaxy can be seen with the naked eye.

Recent estimates put the number of galaxies in the universe at two trillion; many of them will be spiral galaxies similar to our galaxy, the Milky Way.

From any viewpoint on Earth with no light pollution, you might see between two to three thousand stars, but you will only see one spiral galaxy, namely the Andromeda galaxy.

The Andromeda galaxy lies 2.5 million light-years from the Earth; to us, that distance seems massive, but with advanced telescopes, we can see galaxies that are over 13 billion light-years away.

One light-year is equivalent to 9.46 trillion kilometres.

The size of the universe can be unfathomable to most of us.

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The speed of the Earth's rotation is deceiving, very deceiving.

By Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Most of us know that the Earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours.

If you were to stand on the widest part of the Earth, the equator, you would be travelling at 1,670 kph, or 1,037 mph, all due to that rotation. But the farther you travel north or south from that point, the slower your speed will be.

In reality, our planet is rotating very slowly.

Imagine looking at a football that is turning on its axis once every day. Would you like to see it move in real-time? No, you wouldn't; it is turning far too slowly for us to notice.

The speed of the widest part of a rotating planet is governed by the size of its radius.

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A black hole is a mind-boggling object.

Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

So what is a black hole?

It's an object in space with such strong gravity that nothing, including light, can escape its enormous gravitational pull.

Around a black hole is an area called the event horizon; anything entering that area is doomed. Even the escape velocity of light at 300,000 kilometres or 186,000 miles per second is not fast enough to break free, hence its name, a black hole.

It is difficult to explain how dense a black hole is, but now is the time to use your imagination.

Hypothetically, for the Earth to be dense enough to be a black hole, it would have to be compressed down to the size of a grape.

Yes, it is beyond our understanding , well, mine anyway.

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The great silence.

Image credit, Simone Holland from Pixabay.

Nothing in the universe travels faster than light.

Radio waves are part of the spectrum of light and travel at 300,000 kilometres or 186,000 miles per second.

It would be unreasonable to think that we are alone in the universe; two trillion galaxies are thought to be spread throughout that gargantuan area. Each one of those galaxies holds millions or billions of stars.

We can only imagine the number of planets that exist.

If intelligent life were living on a planet near the centre of our galaxy, their radio message would take approximately 25,000 years to reach us.

But of course, that distance is just a step away considering the size of the universe.

The distances throughout space are just too big to realistically expect messages from aliens.

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.

sciencehumanityextraterrestrialevolutionastronomy
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About the Creator

A B Forbes

Someone with a lifelong passion for that gargantuan area we call the universe. I also write stories about life itself. Enjoy

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  • Sandra Tena Cole15 days ago

    Wow!! ❣️ You could do a lot with these!! Reminded me of Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics x

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