Let’s face it, even if you don’t know a huge amount about our universe (there is, after all, still so much to learn about it), it can’t be denied that it’s truly an awe-inspiring place. We all know that it’s a gargantuan place where all life as we know it comes from, but the sheer scale of it can be just mind melting. Sometimes it hurts our heads just thinking about it.
So let’s take it a step further, shall we? Here we present fifteen of the most mind blowing facts about the cosmos that we could find. We’re betting there are at least a handful here that you never knew before. Prepare to feel small.
How far up would you need to travel in order to reach outer space? Watching live coverage of shuttle launches makes it looks like it takes mere minutes at top speeds. But what if you could travel straight up in just your car? Well, according to the magic of maths, if you got in your car and was somehow able to drive vertically without stopping, you would be able to reach space in about an hour if you maintained a speed of 60mph (95km/h).
This means space is much further up than we realize. Think about it in terms of an average drive to the city. When you’re sat in the car on the motorway going at a constant speed, an hour seems like such a long time. Only there are no toilet breaks when punching through Earth’s atmosphere. Now we’re just picturing Burger King restaurants and Premier Inn hotels being built halfway up the sky.
When we talk about statistics, we humans like to draw comparisons to things we are either familiar with or are at least comfortable with imagining so our tiny minds don’t implode. When it comes to the discussion of planets in terms of their size, we always think about how big they are rather than how small they are.
Despite the fact that Pluto was declassified a few years ago and is now classed as a dwarf planet, we still think of it as part of the gang. It’s been with us for too long to just brush it off. Stay with us Pluto. We love you! But in this instance, Pluto is so small that Russia actually outranks it. With a land mass of 17 million square miles, this huge country is larger than Pluto (which clocks in at around 16.6 million square miles). This means we have an entire country here on earth that can potentially beat up an entire lunar satellite.