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Space Trivia

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Giant flames called prominences shoot out from the Sun's surfaces for 310,000 miles, more than the distance from Earth to the moon. The entire Earth could fit into one of these flames nearly 40 times.

Halley's comet is named after Edmond G. Halley; he was the first to suggest that comets were natural phenomena of our solar system, in orbit around the Sun.

Halley's comet, one of the most famous ever known, returns to Earth every 76 years, and has been observed and recorded for more than 3,000 years.

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.

If a pin was heated to the same temperature as the center of the Sun, its heat would set alight everything within 60 miles of it.

If a red giant star was the size of an ordinary living room, its energy-generating core would be the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

If an astronaut tried to land on a neutron star, he or she would be crushed by the extremely strong force of gravity, and squashed into a thin layer less than one atom thick.

The third Challenger flight carried the first black American into space, Guion S. Bluford, Jr., on August 30, 1983. A weather/communications satellite was launched for India during the flight.

The U.S.S.R. captured the first photo of the moon taken from space in 1959. The image was of the dark side of the moon.

The Galileo spacecraft traveled to Jupiter at a speed of 107,000 miles per hour--fast enough to cross the United States in 85 seconds.

The Ulysses Solar Mission revealed that matter flows outward from the South Pole of the Sun at a rate of one million tons per second.

The giant red star Betelguese the red star in the shoulder of the constellation Orion is 700 million miles across, about 800 times larger than the Sun. Light takes 1 hour to travel from one side of the giant star to the other.

Mercury has been known since about the third millennium B.C. The planet was given two names by the Greeks: Apollo, for its apparition as a morning star, and Hermes as an evening star. Greek astronomers knew, however, that the two names referred to the same body.

The universe is about 15,000 million years old. Put another way, if the years flashed by at a rate of one each second, the universe would already be nearly 47 years old.

The gold-plated 33-rpm record "Camelot" was left behind on the moon by the Apollo astronauts.

Metis is the innermost of Jupiter's known satellites, and was named for Metis, a Titaness who was the first wife of the Greek god Zeus, known later as Jupiter in Roman mythology.

The Veil nebula was formed by an explosion which took place over 30,000 years ago, when the first people lived on Earth.

The gravitational pull of a black hole is so strong that if a two-pound book were brought within twenty feet of a black hole, the book would weigh more than all the world's population combined.

Millions of meteorites fall against the outer limits of the atmosphere every day and are burned to nothing by the friction.

The Venus day is longer than the Venus year. The planet spins on its axis once every 243 Earth days and orbits the sun once every 224 Earth days.

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