From its acceleration to expansion to dark matter and energy, the Universe continues to consistently amaze and perplex our scientists & astronomers alike. From unimaginably gigantic to incredibly minute stuff, there’s an awful lot going around in this field we refer to as ‘existence’.
The recent discovery made by the scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider, a place near Geneva, revealed a startling new fact about elusive Higgs boson particle. A lot of buzz surrounded the information revealed by this discovery regarding the constitution of the fabric of the universe.
According to the standard model of theoretical physics, the Higgs boson particle is solely responsible for entire mass in the universe – a heck lot of matter ain’t it!
The universe is constantly being created and destroyed – let’s try to dig deep and take a look at 10 unbelievably startling facts about our universe that are sure to surprise you.
1. Are you sure you’re Standing and Not Moving?
This might just come as a surprise, but no human or any object for that matter is ever at rest. Even when you’re fast asleep in your bed, you’re moving at a pretty fast pace.
Unbelievable – believe it!
The Milky Way Galaxy rotates at a speed of 225 Km per second and it hurls through the cosmos at approx 305 Km per second. Now adding these numbers up – we’re racing through space at about 530 Km every second. This means in one minute’s time you cover a distance of about 20,000 Km.
2. Are You Talking About Mass Extinction? I Mean Seriously!
According to the astronomers, the greatest possibility of a large asteroid colliding with Earth and wiping out life is in 2029. Yes – you got that right!
Many asteroids have collided with earth before and have caused mass extinctions, so there is a favorable precedent for it to happen again.
It is stated that an asteroid named Apophis Asteroid (99942 Apophis), is heading our way to leave its devastating impact on Earth in 2029.
3. You Shine Like Star – Literally
Human beings are factually made out of all star stuff. Now I understand why some humans are so charismatic!
It is believed that almost all chemical elements that make up a human come from the stars. Any element heavier than Hydrogen originated from stars – we’re certainly composed of more than Hydrogen.
Calcium, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and about 60 other different elements together make up an individual human. As Hydrogen and Helium were the only elements present before the stars ‘baked’ up some more – it safe to believe that majority of the substances that make up a human comes from the stars.
4. After All How Big Could Sun Be?
Why focus on other stars, when we’re in love with our own ‘Sun’.
Compared to the other stars – sun is fairly very small and is also referred to as G2 Dwarf Star. So how big this dwarf star could be?
A dwarf star could fit in approximately one million Earths inside it in perfect balance.
Fortunately, we’re more than happy with the job performed by the sun as far as sustaining life on Earth goes and in no way intend to settle in there!
5. Wanna Trek The Tallest Mountain Of The Universe? Head Straight to Mars!
Mt. Everest is indomitable on planet Earth but is certainly not the king of the solar system. This honor is bestowed upon Olympus Mons – a colossal mountain on our neighbor planet Mars.
A giant mount comprising of hard rock and red dirt, this volcanic behemoth – Olympus Mons is 80,000 feet or 2,400 meters tall. This accounts it to be approximately 15 miles high.
6. What Could Be The Total Number Of Stars In The Universe?
There are at least 10 Billion Trillion Stars twinkling in the universe – now that’s a pretty big number.
For all those who are good at playing with numbers, the total star count would account to be 10 raised to the power 22 stars. This means there are more stars in existence than total grains of sand present on all of the world’s beaches together!
7. Neutron Stars Are Heavy…Very, Very Heavy
You might be wondering what exactly the neutron stars are. Well, the neutron stars are the densest objects known in the universe.
These stars are created inside the larger stars during supernova explosion. When the core of the larger star collapses, the protons and electrons get crushed into neutrons.
Through the neutron stars are 10-13 miles in diameter, they are still one of the heaviest stars present in the universe. A thimbleful amount of neutron star would weigh around 100 million tons – invariably more than a large mountain.
8. Our Milky Way Is On a Collision Course with Our Nearest Neighbor
Our very own galaxy, The Milky Way Galaxy is on a collision course with our nearest neighbor – the Andromeda Galaxy.
Although these two conglomerations are destined to smash, but you shouldn’t be fretting over the incident!
The impeding impact of this dreadful incident is predicted to take place about 3 billion years later.
The chances of you witnessing this fender bender of the two galaxies are pretty slim – unless of course you’re planning to cryogenically freeze yourself!
9. They Say Ageing Is A Natural Process – And Our Earth Is No Exception!
Our Earth has been around for more than 4.54 billion years.
Though life on earth has only been for a short amount of time, but the many varieties of life forms has been spectacular – from single celled organisms to snakes, huge sharks to dinosaurs to mammals.
If the comet coming in 2029 misses the plant, hopefully we’ll be thriving for many more centuries to come.
10. The Higgs Boson Particle Gives Form to the Universe
A lot of hoopla has been surrounding the discovery of the mysterious particle – Higgs Boson.
As already mentioned in the introduction, the standard theory stands correct as the Higgs Boson particle is undoubtedly the heaviest element in existence – as has been discovered so far.
It is this cosmic molasses that weighs down the minute particles that constitute atoms giving them substance. In the absence of Higgs Boson particle, our universe would act more like a cosmic soup, where the elements would simply zip around in the absence of any substantial form.
The Higgs Boson particle discovery in Physics is equivalent to Darwin’s theory of evolution in Biology. This implies that it is indeed a very big discovery.