Facts 8 to 14
8 21% Of Americans Don’t Know Earth Revolves Around The Sun
21% of Americans didn’t know that the Earth revolves around the Sun and another 47% didn’t know that it takes a year for the Earth to go around the Sun. So where did the first part of this fact originate from?
After a little research, something that should have happened before being published,we discovered that the fact claiming that 45% of Americans don’t know the sun is a star first appeared in print in 1989. It was part of a set of trivial topics in a book called Uncle John’s Second Bathroom Reader, and this factoid just happened to be one of the items listed. It’s possible that it was correct at the time that it was published, however without providing a reliable source to backup the numbers, it should be treated as being suspicious.
There’s also the possibility, if it was correct at the time, that the question was misleading. For example the question could have been, “what’s the nearest star to Earth,” in which we’re guessing a lot of people would have gotten wrong.
9 Facts About Comet Tails
More amazing facts about comets. All comets have a tail and many comets that enter the inner solar system are rarely seen, due mainly to the fact that they are too faint, unlike the great comets in history and Halleys Comet.
Did you know that all comet tails always point away from the sun? This is because of the solar radiation and solar winds cause the materials that the comet is made out of to vaporize. This vaporization develops the coma, which is the envelope around the centre of the comet and this in turn stretches out away from the sun regardless of which direction the comet is traveling. While the comet is only small, the tails have been seen to stretch up to 570 million km (354 million miles) long.
10 Amazing Link Between A Comet And Margaret Thatcher
Is this fact an amazing or uncanny coincidence or what? Every year the Earth experiences a meteor shower in mid to late April. This meteor shower is known as the Lyrids meteor shower. But what is so amazing about a meteor shower? We get several of them every year.
Well, the Lyrids meteor shower is caused by Earth passing through the tail of a comet called Thatcher. In April 2013 former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died and her funeral was held during Earths passing through the comets tail. That is what makes this meteor shower so eerie.
This would almost be on par with the amazing tale of Mark Twain and Haley’s Comet.
For the record the comet was not named after Margaret Thatcher and is named after Professor A. E Thatcher and was discovered in 1861.
11 The Milky Way Has Eaten Another Galaxy
Did you know that we live in not only a hungry galaxy, but a cannibalistic galaxy? It appears that our very own galaxy, the Milky Way has devoured another smaller galaxy in its history.
Researchers at the Australian Astronomy Observatory were trying to piece together the early history of our galaxy when they made the discovery. They were trying to chart the velocity of stars within the Milky Way when when they found the fossilised remains of stars. These fossilised stars were from a smaller dwarf galaxy. When the collision took place it actually changed the shape of the Milky Way.
Collisions between galaxies are often common. In fact the Milky Way is on course to crash into another galaxy of similar size, the Andromeda Galaxy which can be seen with the naked eye.
12 There Have Been Five Mass Extinction Events From Meteors
There have been 5 mass extinction events from meteors. The one that killed the dinosaurs that we are most familiar with occurred 65 million years ago and is called the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. But it wasn’t the biggest. The largest extinction event occurred in the the Permian-Triassic period abi=out 250 million years ago. It resulted in a 90% extinction rate and took Earth up to 10 million years to recover.
Speaking of impact events, In 1490 what is thought to be a meteor fell in Shanxi Province in China. It was reported as falling stones and it was reported to have killed 10,000 people. Some astronomers think it was a break up of a large asteroid.
And if that’s a little too close for comfort, a near disaster took place in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century and is known as the Tunguska event.
The meteor event over Chelyabinsk In Russia isn’t the only meteor event in recent history, not even in Russia. In 1908 in Tunguska, Russia, probably the most famous of modern meteor events took place. It struck at 7:14am exploding about 5 to 10 kilometres (3 to 6 miles) over Tunguska, in Siberia, and flattened an area of forest 2000 square kilometres (770 square miles). It is believed the blast was about 10 to 15 mega tons, or equal to 1000 times the size of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
13 Some People Have Been Struck By A Meteorite
Imagine how unlucky you would have to be to be hit by a meteorite. In the vastness of space, you would have to be extremely unlucky to be hit. And if you were hit, survival would not be something that you would expect. But believe it or not, some people have not only been hit by a meteorite, but have also survived relatively unscathed.
On November 30, 1954, in Sylacauga, Alabama, a woman was struck by a 4kg (8.8lb) meteorite that crashed through her roof and bounced off her radio. She received bad bruising. With a stone that weight she is lucky to have survived.
On another occasion on April 28, 1927 in Aba, Japan a 5 year old girl was struck on the head by a bean sized stone. The girl recovered several days later and the meteorite now resides in a museum, called the Aba stone.
There may have been other occasions throughout history, but nothing that can be verified has been reported.
14 Penguin Poo Can Be Seen From Space
Is it true that penguin poop can be seen from space? Don’t get me wrong, being a bird, a big bird granted, surely they can’t really dump a poop so big that it can be seen from space. It doesn’t seem at all possible. But it is.
It has been speculated for many many years that the only man made structure that can be seen from space is the Great Wall of China. This theory was invented before space travel. We can’t see the Great Wall of China from space but we can see something much much smaller and not made by humans. Penguin poo. But how?
It’s all about contrast. As you know, something white on a black background is easy to see, and something black, as penguin poop is, is easy to see on something white, like snow and ice in Antarctica. The black poo shows up clearly on the white ice from satellites above. The poo has allowed scientists to track penguins in what would otherwise be a treacherous environment.
Did you and your kids have fun reading our solar system facts? We sure hope you did, and would appreciate it if you could share this list with your friends.