The concept of universe, its existence, birth and interaction with the outer space have been conquering many prodigal minds right from the age of Renaissance.The inventions today grew from Aristotle s clear explanation on the appearance of the Earth.Another breakthrough was the discovery of gravity by Newton eventually leading to the theory of relativity by Albert Einstein.The research then took a sharp turn to the concepts of black holes, all these have contributed to umpteen number of facts about the family of galaxies and stars dispersed across the horizon residing over a medium called space. A ‘space’ is something that accommodates an object or an event in a specific position and direction within a boundless three dimensional extent.
Far in the renaissance age it was suggested that the universe may have taken a flat shape. With the evolution of general theory of relativity, the universe was said to take up either an open, closed or a flat shape. A monumental confirmation was sought with the measurements of WMAP on CMBR that the universe is flat whereas the earth is not.
The universe is thought to be composed of three kinds of matter. The normal matter mothers every visible object (stars, planets, galaxies etc) in the universe accounting to only 5%. The rest 70% is dark energy which accelerates the expansion of the universe. The left over 25% constitutes the dark matter whose existence is inferred from the gravitational effects on visible matter. Dark matter is the unsolvable greatest mysteries of astrophysics demanding more research today.
The Milky Way galaxy in which we reside is one among the billions of galaxies in space. It whirls rapidly spinning our sun along with its other stars at around 100 million km per hour.
The rays of the sun that falls over our skin is 30,000 years old spending those thousands of years only to reach its surface. The sun travels around the galaxy once in every 200 million years which is a journey of 100,000 light years. It is also believed that the sun would eventually swallow the Earth.
The Earth has a powerful magnetic field attributed to its nickel-iron core and rapid rotation. The rotation of the Earth is gradually slowing down at approximately 17 milliseconds per hundred years due to the effect of lunar drift taking place at 3.8 cm away from the earth.
Mars is the only planet in the solar system home to the largest dust storms and the tallest mountains. It has been found in 2003 that some microorganisms called methanogens, releasing methane, thrive as life forms there.
In 2004 scientists discovered a collapsed star built of diamond measuring 4000km across with a core composed of 10 billion trillion trillion carats of diamond. Its distance with the Earth is roughly about 50 light years.
A black hole is a region of space with strong gravitational pull, so strong that neither light nor radiations can escape out of it. Huge black holes are believed to be present in the very middle of most of the galaxies. A matter getting into a black hole will be torn apart into pieces called quasars with extreme luminosity, 100 times greater than that of our galaxy, Milky Way.
Comets are small bodies of the solar system composed of ice along with the traces of dust and rock. Nucleus is the main body of the comet containing nitrogen, methane, water and other ices. When solar winds strike against the nucleus, the ice crystals and dust blow away into a pair of tails, namely the dust tail which is visible from the earth and the plasma tail.
Meteorites are rocky or metallic chunks wandering in the atmosphere, at times they may be heated and survive to fall over the surface of the Earth. Most of the meteorites fall into the ocean whereas the others hit against the land. It is believed that the Earth is being followed by many such meteorites.