Interesting Facts about Astronomy
For many people astronomy is an interesting science filled with loads of astronomy fun facts. Everything from the size and temperature of our own star, the Sun, to the makeup of distant planets has been established. All of this information can be retold to entertain and enlighten people.
The Sun is a fantastic font for astronomy fun facts. Our own star, which provides us with all our heat and light is between 91 and 94.5 million miles from Earth. It’s not that nobody has measured the exact distance, but rather because the Earth orbits the Sun in an ellipse, an uneven, orbit, so the distance varies depending on where the Earth lies in that orbit.
The Sun is only an average size star, yet it’s size is another terrific source of astronomy fun facts. As average as it is, it accounts for about 98% of all the material in our solar system. Even with the huge planet of Jupiter on our side, we’re still a measly 2% of non Sun stuff.
It would take the diameter of about 100 Earths to measure across this average Sun. The solar winds produced by the Sun extends to about 50 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. In other words, those solar winds reach out about 50 AU’s, with an AU being the distance from the Earth to the sun. That’s quite fantastic, isn’t it?.
How about astronomy fun facts that don’t have anything to do with the Sun? How about our Moon? It’s the only non-Earth object upon which man has walked so far. And one man actually travelled to the Moon but never left it. Dr. Eugene Shoemaker loved the Moon but was rejected as an astronaut. After his death he was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the moon by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft in 1999.
There are lots more astronomical fun facts about the Moon. It’s where what may become the oldest footprint known to man. Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind left a footprint or shoe print in the Moon’s dust that will likely still be there in 15 million years time.
Many people, in fact about 13% of those asked in 1988, still believed the Moon to be made of cheese. And finally the suits worn by the Moon-walking astronauts weighed 180 pounds on Earth but only 30 pounds on the Moon, because of the reduced gravity on the Moon. Talk about an instant diet, eh?
Astronomy fun facts aren’t limited to our close astronomical neighbours. Looking at stars is like looking into the past. Some of the stars we see today in the night sky are so far away that their light takes a million years to reach us. Some of the stars you see may literally be images of stars a million years old that aren’t even there any more. There are more than 1 x 10 ^22 stars in the universe. That’s a 1 followed by 22 zeros. The number is really quite awesome.
There are millions of astronomy fun facts and we could go on about them forever. But unfortunately, this article can not. So, please, walk out there and learn more about astronomy for yourself.