Amazing Astronomy Facts
- When Galileo viewed
Saturn for the first time through a telescope, he described the
planet as having "ears". It was not until 1655 that Christian
Huygens suggested the crazy theory that they might be an
enormous set of rings around the planet.
- If you could put Saturn in an enormous bathtub, it would float. The planet is
less dense than water.
- A teaspoon-full of Neutron star would weigh about 112 million tonnes.
- Jupiter is heavier
than all the other planets put together.
- Even on the clearest night, the human eye can only see about 3,000 stars.
There are an estimated 100,000,000,000 in our galaxy alone!
- The tallest mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons, on Mars at a
height of about 15 miles, three times the height of
Mount. It covers an area about half the size of
- If the sun were the size of a dot on an ordinary-sized letter 'i', then the nearest
star would be 10 miles away.
- Half-a-billionth of the energy released by the sun reaches the Earth
- Temperatures on Venus are hot enough to melt lead.
- If you could travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) it would take
100,000 years to cross our galaxy!
- Only one side of the moon ever faces Earth. The moons period of rotation is
exactly the same as it's period of orbit.
- Betelgeuse, the bright star on Orion's top-left shoulder, is so big that if it
was placed where the sun is, it would swallow up Earth, Mars and
- If you stand on the equator, you are spinning at about 1,000 mph in as the Earth
turns, as well as charging along at 67,000 mph round the sun.
- On the equator you
are about 3% lighter than at the poles, due to the centrifugal*
force of the Earth spinning.
- The atmosphere on
Earth is proportionately thinner than the skin on an apple.
- On Mercury a day (the time it takes for it to spin round once) is 59 Earth-days.
Its year (the time it takes to orbit the sun) is 88 days- that
means there are fewer than 2 days in a year!
- If a piece of the sun the size of a pinhead were to be placed on Earth, you could
not safely stand within 90 miles of it!
- Its estimated that the number of stars in the universe is greater than the number
of grains of sand on all the beaches in the world! On a clear
night, we can see the equivalent of a handful of sand.
- Every year the sun evaporates 100,000 cubic miles of water from Earth (that weighs
400 trillion tonnes!)
- Jupiter acts as a huge vacuum cleaner, attracting and absorbing comets and
meteors. Some estimates say that without Jupiters gravitational
influence the number of massive projectiles hitting Earth would
be 10,000 times greater.
- Astronomers believe that space is not a complete vacuum- there are three atoms per
- Saturn is not the only planet with rings-
own ring system.