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Space Trivia

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A new star is born in our galaxy is born every 18 days. About 20 new stars are born each year. For comparison, there are 100,000 million stars in our galaxy.

A pulsar is a small star made up of neutrons so densely packed together that if one the size of a silver dollar landed on Earth, it would weigh approximately 100 million tons.

A solar day on Mercury, from sunrise to sunset, lasts about six Earth months.

A space shuttle at lift-off develops more power than all the automobiles in England combined.

A space vehicle must move at a rate of at least 17 miles per second to escape Earth's gravitational pull. This is equivalent to going from New York to Philadelphia in about 20 seconds.

A spectroheliokinematograph is a special camera used to film the Sun.

A sunbeam setting out through space at the rate of 186,000 miles a second would describe a gigantic circle and return to its origins after about 200 billion years.

A teaspoon of neutron star material weighs about 110 million tons.

A total of 382 kg (about 842 pounds) of rock samples from the Moon were returned to the Earth by the Apollo and Luna programs.

A typical nova explosion releases about as much energy as the Sun emits in 10,000 years, or as much as in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 nuclear bombs.

A white dwarf has a mass equal to that of the Sun, but a diameter only about that of Earth. A cupful of white dwarf material weighs about 22 tons, the same as five elephants.

Abe Silverstein, who headed NASA's Space Flight Development Program, proposed the name Apollo for the space exploration programs in the 1960s. He chose that legendary Greek name because the virile Apollo was a god who rode through the skies in a magnificent golden chariot. The precedent of naming manned spacecraft for mythological gods had been set earlier with Project Mercury, also named by Silverstein.

About 27 tons of dust rains down on the earth each day from space, making a total of almost 10,000 tons each year.

About 40 novae erupt in our galaxy each year.

About 68 percent of adults believe that during the next century, evidence will be discovered that shows other life in this or other galaxies.

According to ancient Chinese legend, the appearance of the Hyades group of stars in the sky means rain. Interestingly, Roman and Greek legends say the same thing.

According to astronomers, we haven't caught sight of a solar system that resembles our own yet.

According to many astronomers, two of every three stars in the galaxy are binary, meaning pairs of stars are more common than single-star systems like our own.

According to Professor David Saunders of the Psychology Department of the University of Chicago, abnormally large numbers of UFO sightings occur every 61 months, usually at distances from 1,500 to 2,000 miles apart.

According to scientists, gold exists on Mars, Mercury, and Venus.

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