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Home / Articles / Arts & Entertainment / Celebrities /  SPACE... Test Your Knowledge
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Tuesday, June 7,2022

SPACE... Test Your Knowledge

By Liz Sterling  
Years ago, in the middle of the night, on a stretch of road in the middle of Kansas heading west on Interstate 80, I found myself in the middle of the Milky Way. Well, not really in the middle of the Milky Way, because it was in the sky and I was on the Earth. It was the first time I saw it, and it transformed me forever. As I looked out in the darkness of the plains, not a light in sight, the sky was illuminated from horizon to horizon with a star-filled, swirling, milky explosion of energy. I was starstruck, LOL, and it truly took my breath away.

That experience set me on a trajectory to learn more about astronomy, our galaxy, and the universe. It was the catalyst for my becoming an explorer of the heavens and the Earth. I do believe it was my first epiphany and the greatest one to date. It was the opening act to this play or stage, as Shakespeare said, of life.

For this article, I decided to look up fun facts about space and to be kidlike about it, because traditionally, June is the month for camp to begin.

As a kid, I loved camp… all the interesting games and stories and activities that were freeing and exciting. Turns out the sky and all it holds is utterly magnificent, truly exciting and can bring out the kid in anyone.

Here are three fun facts from the Arizona State University Center for Child Well-Being:

“Space is vast. With billions of galaxies and stars, and planets in our own solar system yet to be fully explored or understood, scientists’ knowledge of space is always evolving. There are, however, some really cool things we know about space right now!

1. A FULL NASA SPACE SUIT COSTS $12,000,000.

While the entire suit costs a cool $12m, 70% of that cost is for the backpack and control module. However, the space suits that NASA uses were built in 1974. If these were priced by today’s pricing, they would cost an estimated 150 million dollars!

2. ONE MILLION EARTHS CAN FIT INSIDE THE SUN

The Sun is large enough that approximately 1.3 million Earths could fit inside (if squashed in) or if the Earths retained their spherical shape, then 960,000 would fit.

3. THERE ARE MORE TREES ON EARTH THAN STARS IN THE MILKY WAY

There are about three trillion trees on Planet Earth, and between 1-400 billion stars, approximately, in the galaxy.”

Let’s now say hello to Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

I learned about this at Astronomy.com

A black hole has for the first time been photographed inside our galaxy. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this new image has already generated huge scientific inquiry. The possibilities for learning have just multiplied exponentially, and this finding can help science evolve even further.

And now the final frontier… Does Life Exist Beyond Earth?

Dan Vergano, a BuzzFeed News reporter wrote last week that the “US now has 400 Official Reports Of UFOs But Congress Wants You To Know There’s Still No Proof Of Aliens.” There has not been a debate or meeting of congressional magnitude since the late 1960’s, and last week was the first one since then. “Unidentified aerial phenomena are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way,” the committee chairperson said.

But truth be told, I’m imagining that most people believe in life beyond the Earth… do you?

Let’s put it this way. We know our Sun is the center of our solar system. Did you know there are tens of millions, maybe even tens of billions of solar systems in our own galaxy? And guess how many galaxies there are estimated to be in the universe? According to a Space.com, February 1,2022 report, “Researchers dubbed this the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF). All in all, the Hubble telescope reveals an estimated 100 billion galaxies in the universe or so, but this number is likely to increase to about 200 billion as telescope technology in space improves.” Add all the numbers together and we have a great big WOW!

The universe is huge, space is exciting, and whether or not life exists outside our solar system, one thing’s for sure… the sky’s the limit! Have a fun time this month, and may June be as magnificent for us all!

 

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