Most of us have been filled with wonder at one point or another about space, which sadly begins to fade as we grow older and realize that there is so much we don’t and will never know. Luckily, there are those who never lost that enthusiasm for the cosmos and work hard to find answers. Here are 20 facts about space you should know.
1. According to astronauts who have returned from space missions, space smells like a mixture of hot metal, welding fumes and seared steak.
2. There is a phenomenon that scientists call bizarreness gravitational lensing which happens when gravity bends light to the point that objects appear in a different location to where they actually exist.
3. Due to an amazing coincidence of the Moon being 400 times smaller, and 400 times closer than the Sun, they both appear to be the same size.
4. At $150billion, the International Space Station is the most expensive object ever built.
At the size of a football field, The International Space Station is only as roomy as a five-bedroom house, and travels at a speed of 17,500 mph. This means that Astronauts onboard the International Space Station view fifteen sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours. One interesting fact is that the station has a special water treatment plant that turns urine into drinking water. In such a hostile environment self-sustainability is one of the key considerations astronauts have to keep in mind.
5. Astronauts typically gain two inches in height while in space.
Due to the lack of gravity, the spines of astronauts elongate by up to three percent while they are in space. This is a similar effect to what happens while you sleep as less gravitational force is being applied to your spine while you lie down which is why we are fractionally taller when we wake up as opposed to going to bed.(source)
6. Two teams of astronauts have discovered a large reservoir of water floating in space that is the equivalent to 140 trillion times the water of our ocean.
7. In space the Sun appears white as opposed to yellow here on earth.
Due to Earth’s atmosphere, shorter and more energetic wavelength photons of light are scattered and deflected before they reach the ground. This means that we usually only see particles with longer wavelengths such as yellow, orange and red. This explains why to our eyes, the Sun appears yellow instead of white.(source)