Astronomy is an interesting science to most people because it is stuffed with many astronomy fun facts. Everything from the size and temperature of our own star, the Sun, to the make-up of distant planets has been established. All of this information can be retold to entertain and enlighten people.
The Sun is a fantastic source of astronomy fun facts. Our own star, which supplies us with all our heat and light is between 91 and 94.5 million miles from Earth. It’s not that nobody knows the exact distance. It’s because the Earth orbits the Sun in an elliptical, uneven, orbit, so the distance varies depending on where the Earth lies in that orbit.
The Sun is only of average size for a star, yet it’s size is another terrific source of astronomy fun facts. As average as it is, it accounts for about 98% of all the matter in our solar system. Even with the huge planet of Jupiter on our side, we’re still a measly 2% of non Sun material.
It would take the diameter of about 100 Earths to stretch across this average Sun. The solar winds produced by the Sun extends to about 50 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Or put another way, those solar winds reach out about 50 AU’s, with an AU being the distance from the Sun to the Earth. That’s quite fantastic, isn’t it?.
How about astronomy fun facts that don’t have anything to do with the Sun then? What about the Moon? It’s the only non-Earth object that man has walked upon until now. And one man actually travelled to the Moon but never left it. Dr. Eugene Shoemaker really liked the Moon but was rejected as an astronaut. After his death, he was cremated and his ashes were sprinkled over the Moon by the Lunar Prospector spacecraft in 1999.
There are many more astronomy fun facts about the Moon. It’s the site of what may become the oldest footprint known to man. Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind left a print in the Moon dust that will probably still be there in 10 million years time.
Many people, in fact about 13% of those asked in 1988, still believed the Moon is made of cheese. And finally the suits worn by the Moon-walking astronauts weighed 180 pounds on Earth but only 30 pounds on the Moon, because of the reduced gravity on the Moon. Talk about an instant diet, eh?
Astronomy fun facts aren’t limited to our close astronomical neighbours. Looking at stars is like looking into the past. Some of the stars we see today in the night sky are so far away that their light takes a million years to reach us. Some of the stars you see may really be images of stars a million years old that aren’t even there in the present. There are over 1 x 10 ^22 stars in the universe. That’s a 1 followed by 22 zeros. The number is really quite awesome.
There are millions of astronomy fun facts and we could relate them forever. But this article can not. So, please, walk out there and learn about astronomy for yourself.