The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
Page 3 [Facts 51 to 75]
- 51. Planets have magnetic field around them because of the liquid iron in their cores. As the planets rotate, so the iron swirls, generating electric currents that create the magnetic field.
- 52. Earth’s atmosphere is the only atmosphere discovered till date that human can breathe in.
- 53. Earth’s atmosphere was formed from gases pouring out from volcanoes.
- 54. Jupiter has no surface for a spacecraft to land on because it is made mostly from helium gas and hydrogen. The massive pull of Jupiter’s gravity squeezes the hydrogen so hard that it is liquid.
- 55. Jupiter spins right round in less than 10 hours which means that the planet’s surface is moving at nearly 50,000 km/hr.
- 56. The first successful planetary space probe was the USA’s Mariner 2, which flew past Venus in 1962.
- 57. Voyager 2 has flown over 6 billion km and is heading out of the solar system after passing close to Neptune in 1989.
- 58. To save fuel on journeys to distant planets, space probes may use a nearby planet’s gravity to catapult them on their way. This is called slingshot.
- 59. Hubble’s law showed that Universe is getting bigger – and so must have started very small. This led to the idea of Big Bang.
- 60. It’s believed that it was the impact of a big meteorite may have chilled the earth and wiped out all the dinosaurs.
- 61. The first astronomers thought the regular pulses from far space might be signals from aliens, and pulsars were jokingly called LGMs (short for Little Green Men).
- 62. Pulsars probably result from a supernova explosion - that is why most are found in the flat disc of the Milky Way, where supernovae occur.
- 63. Three moons have yet been found to have their own moons: Saturn’s moon Titan, Jupiter’s Lo, and Neptune’s Triton.
- 64. The largest moon in the Solar System is the Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.
- 65. Saturn is not solid, but is made almost entirely of gas – mostly liquid hydrogen and helium. Only in the planet’s very small core is there any rock.
- 66. Winds ten times stronger than a hurricane on Earth swirl around Saturn’s equator reaching up to 1100 km/h – and they never let up: even for a moment.
- 67. The first space station was the Soviet Salyut 1 launched in April 1971; its low orbit meant it stayed up only five months.
- 68. In April 2001, Dennis Tito became the first space tourist, ferried up to the ISS by the Russian Soyuz space shuttle.
- 69. Einstein’s theory of general relativity shows that gravity not only pulls on matter, but also space and even ‘Time’ itself.
- 70. Since the star Deneb is 1800 light years away, we see it as it was when the emperor Septimus Severius was ruling the Rome (AD 200).
- 71. With powerful telescopes, astronomers can see galaxies 2 billion light years away. This means we see them as they were when the only life forms in Earth were bacteria.
- 72. The slowest rotating planet is Venus, which takes 243.01 days to turn around.
- 73. The fastest spinning objects in the Universe are neutron stars – these can rotate 500 times in just 1 second.
- 74. In summer in Uranus, the sun does not set for 20 years. In winter, darkness lasts for 20 years. In autumn, the sun rises and sets every 9 hours.
- 75. Uranus’s moon Miranda is the weirdest moon of all. It seems to have been blasted apart, and then put together again.