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Space Trivia

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Mariner 4 was the first spacecraft to photograph Mars.

A brown dwarf is a very small, dark object, with a mass less than 1/10 that of the Sun. They are "failed stars" globules of gas that have shrunk under gravity, but failed to ignite and shine as stars.

A bucket filled with earth would weigh about 5 times more than the same bucket filled with the substance of the Sun. However, the force of gravity is so much greater on the Sun that a man weighing 150 pounds on our planet would weigh 2 tons on the Sun.

A car traveling at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour would take longer than 48 million years to reach the nearest star (other than our Sun), Proxima Centauri. This is about 685,000 average human lifetimes.

A cosmic year is the amount of time it takes the Sun to revolve around the center of the Milky Way, about 225 million years.

A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates very slowly but revolves around the Sun in slightly less than 88 days.

A dog was killed by a meteor at Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911. The unlucky canine is the only creature known to have been killed by a meteor.

A full moon rarely shows up on Halloween, although Halloween is often associated with full moons. Full moons on Halloween over the past century have occurred in 1925, 1944, 1955, and 1974. The next full moon on October 31 will occur in 2020.

The star Alpha Herculis is 25 times larger than the circumference described by Earth's revolution around the Sun. This means that 25 diameters of our solar system orbit would have to be placed end to end to equal the diameter of the star.

The star Antares is 60,000 times larger than our Sun. If our Sun were the size of a softball, the star Antares would be as large as a house.

The star known as LP 327-186, a so-called white dwarf, is smaller than the state of Texas, yet so dense, that if a cubic inch of it were brought to Earth, it would weigh more than 1.5 million tons.

The star Sirius B is so dense, a handful of it weighs about one million pounds.

The star Zeta Thaun, a supernova, was so bright when it exploded in 1054 that it could be seen during the day.

The Sun contains over 99.8 percent of the total mass in our solar system, while Jupiter contains most of the rest. The fractional percentage that is left is made up of our Earth and moon and the remaining planets and asteroids.

The Sun gives off a stream of electrically-charged particles called the solar wind. Every second, the Sun pumps more than a million tons of material into the solar wind.

The Sun is 330,330 times larger than Earth.

The sun is 93 million miles from earth, yet it's 270,000 times closer than the next nearest star.

The Sun is about midway in the scale of star sizes, but most are smaller ones. Only five percent of the stars in our galaxy are larger than the Sun. (That's five billion larger stars, however.)

A galaxy of typical size about 100 billion suns produces less energy than a single quasar.

A neutron star is the strongest magnet in the universe. The magnetic field of a neutron star is a million million times stronger than Earth's magnetism.

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