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Space Trivia

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There is a correspondence between the fluctuation of agricultural production and sunspot variations. Production of wheat, for example, reached high figures during sunspots maximums and low figures during sunspot minimums.

The largest refracting telescope is the 40-inch Yerkes telescope, built in 1897 and still in use. All larger telescopes are of the "reflecting" variety, using mirrors instead of lenses.

Neptune is so remote that light from the sun--though traveling at 186,000 miles per second--takes more than four hours to reach the planet. By comparison, light from the sun takes only eight minutes to reach Earth.

There is now evidence that comets are propelled into the inner solar system by the tidal pull of the entire galaxy, rather than by the pull of passing stars, as many astronomers had believed. Additionally, just as the Moon pulls Earth's oceans upward on a regular, predicable timetable, the galaxy's pull on comets also follows a predictable pattern, causing greatly increased comet activity about once every 35 million years.

The largest volcano known is on Mars: Olympus Mons, 370 miles wide and 79,000 feet high, is almost three times higher than Mount Everest.

On August 11, 1960, an 85-pound instrumented capsule, ejected from the Discoverer XIII satellite, was recovered off the coast of Hawaii after making only 16 orbits. It was the first man-made object recovered from space.

There may be a giant black hole at the center of our galaxy, weighing as much as 4 million Suns. The black hole may be capturing stars, gas, and dust equivalent to the weight of three Earths every year.

The last words spoken from the moon were from Eugene Cernan, Commander of the Apollo 17 mission on December 11, 1972."As we leave the Moon at Taurus-Littrow, we leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind."

On February 17, 1959, Vanguard II was the first satellite to send weather information back to Earth.

Three-quarters of the galaxies in the universe are spiral galaxies. There are three other types of galaxies: elliptical, irregular, and lenticular.

The layer of gas that spreads out from a nova explosion can be traveling at speeds of 5 million miles per hour.

On September 21, 1978, two Soviet cosmonauts set a space endurance record of 96 days.

Time slows down near a black hole; inside, it stops completely.

The Moon is 238,330 miles (384,400 kilometers) away from the Earth. At that distance, the Moon is Earth's closest neighbor.

On the planet Jupiter, your weight would be nearly three times greater than it is on Earth.

Tiny dust particles surround a comet. They are swept into a long tail by the solar wind, which consists of subatomic particles speeding from the sum at speed of hundred of miles per second.

The moon is about as wide as the United States: 2,160 miles.

On Venus, the Sun rises in the west and sets in the east, the opposite of Earth. Venus rotates from east to west, not from west to east as Earth and the other planets do.

Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only moon in our solar system to have an atmosphere. However, it cannot support life as its atmosphere is made of nitrogen and methane gas.

The Moon is always falling. It has a sideways motion of its own that balances its falling motion. It therefore stays in a closed orbit about Earth, never falling altogether and never escaping altogether.

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