If one were to capture and bottle a comet's 10,000 mile vapor trail, the amount of vapor actually present in the bottle would take up less than 1 cubic inch of space.
Members of the Dogon tribe in Mali, Africa, for many centuries worshiped a star known today by astronomers as Sirius B. The Dogon people knew its precise elliptical orbit, knew how long it took to revolve around its parent star, Sirius, and were aware that it was made up of materials not found on Earth—all this centuries before modern astronomers had even discovered that Sirius B existed.
Deimos, one of the moons of mars, rises and sets twice a day.
To an observer standing on Pluto, the sun would appear no brighter than Venus appears in our evening sky.
Saturn's rings are 500,000 miles in circumference but only about a foot thick.
Five times as many meteors can be seen after midnight as can be seen before.
The star Zeta Thauri, a supernova, was so bright when it exploded in 1054 that it could be seen during the day.
The star Antares is 60,000 times larger than our sun. If our sun were the size of softball, the star Antares would be as large as a house.
When we look at the farthest visible star we are looking 4 billion years into the past—the light from that star traveling at 186,000 miles a second, has taken that many years to reach us.
The telescope on Mount Palomar, California, can see a distance of 7,038,835,200,000,000,000,000 miles.
The sun is 3 million miles closer to the Earth during the winter than the summer.
The diameter of the star Betelgeuse is more than a quarter the size of our entire solar system.
The sun is 330,330 times larger than the Earth.
The Earth moves in its 585-million-mile orbit around the sun approximately eight times faster than a bullet travels.
It is estimated that within the entire Universe there are more than a trillion galaxies (the Milky Way itself contains 100 billion stars). This means that there are probably about 100 (to the 22nd power) stars in the entire cosmos.
Traveling at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, light takes 6 hours to travel from Pluto to Earth.
The Sun burns 9 million tons of gas a second. At this rate, it has been estimated, it will burn out in another 10 billion years.
If the sun were the size of a beach ball, 32 inches in diameter, and were placed atop the Empire State Building, the nearest group of stars, the Triple Centauri system, would be somewhere in Australia, more than 10,000 miles away. The next “closest” star would be so distant that it would be off the surface of the Earth.
When astronauts first shaved in space, their weightless whiskers floated up to the ceiling. A special razor had to be developed which drew the whiskers in like a vacuum cleaner.
A sun beam setting out through space at the rate of 186,000 miles a second would describe a gigantic circle and return to its origins after about 200 million years.
The star known as LP 327-186, a so-called white dwarf, is smaller than the state of Texas yet so dense that if a cubic inch of it were brought to Earth it would weigh more than 1.5 million tons.
All the planets in our solar system could be placed inside the planet Jupiter.
Because of the speed at which the sun moves, it is impossible for a solar eclipse to last more than 7 minutes and 58 seconds.
Four million tons of hydrogen dust are destroyed on the sun every second.
When the Apollo 12 astronauts landed on the moon, the impact caused the moon's surface to vibrate for fifty-five minutes. The vibrations were picked up by laboratory instruments, leading geologists to theorize that the moon's surface is composed of many fragile layers of rocks.
If a baseball-sized piece of a supernova star (known to astronomers as a pulsar) were brought to Earth, it would weigh more than the Empire State Building.
Phobos, one of the moons of mars, is so close to its parent planet that it could not be seen by an observer standing at either of Mar's poles. Phobos makes three complete orbits around Mars every day.
A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates very slowly but revolves around the sun in slightly less than eighty-eight days.
Statistically, UFO sightings are at their greatest number during those times when Mars is closest to Earth.
According to Professor David Saunders of the Psychology Department of the University of Chicago, abnormally large numbers of UFO sightings occur every sixty-one months, usually at distances from 1,500 to 2,000 miles apart.