Outer Space



History


In 350 BC the Greek philosopher Aristotle discovered outer space. The very first professional astronomer to support the concept of infinitive universe was Englishman Thomas Digges in 1576. Outer space is the closet thing to a natural vacuum. It has no friction allowing planets, moons, and stars to move freely along their gravitational trajectories. The deep vacuum in outer space makes an ideal place to build devices like computer chips because of it's super clean environment.

Temperatures


The current temperature of outer space is -454 F. Although some spots can vary. As apposed to popular beliefs, someone exposed to outer space's vacuum would not explode, freeze to death, or die from boiling blood. Actually the oxygen would immediately leave their lungs and any oxygen in their blood would be sucked out. Then as soon as the deoxygenated blood reaches their brain they would die. Eventually any person or animal's blood and other body fluids would boil if exposed to the vacuum. The bible doesn't directly address whether there are aliens or not. Although a team of international researchers found extra-terrestrial bacteria in earth's upper atmosphere.

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Planets


There are eight planets in our solar system plus one dwarf planet, Pluto. All of them revolve around the sun. The one closest to the sun is mercury then comes Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and the farthest is Pluto. Jupiter has the largest diameter and Pluto has the smallest. Jupiter also has the most moons with a staggering 16 while planets like Mercury and Venus don't have any. Planet Earth is still the only planet with life, but scientists are studying upon it, so that may change.

Moon


The moon will completely orbit the earth in just one month. The moon spins because of Newton's law. A blue moon occurs when you see a full moon twice in one month. Some craters on the moon are big enough to fit a city in. Many of the craters on the moon are surrounded by lines called rays. Rays are made of dust that was thrown out when meteors hit. The dark spots that you can see on the moon are caused by lava that has cooled down. Our moon has many mountains. The highest mountain on the moon is almost the same height as Mt. Everest. Since the moon has no atmosphere temperatures can reach up to 243 degrees F when the sun is hitting it. Although when the sun is not hitting the moon the temperature can be as low as -206 degrees F. Apollo 11 was the first space craft to land people on the moon, in 1969. Only 12 American astronauts have ever walked on the moon.

Stars


All stars are really just dust and gas. Stars are born from dust and gas forming together because of a star cluster. The gasses form into knots as gravity pulls it together. When the gas comes closer together it begins to heat up. Then it starts whirling around. This is called a protostar. These protostars give out jets of gas from its hole. Finally, the gas particles join together in the hot center and the star begins to shine, and that is how a star is made.

On a clear night the average person can see more than 2,000 stars. The star we call our sun is 93 million miles away. There are about 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. About a third of the stars that can be seen by the naked eye are actually double or triple stars. That can only be proved by using a telescope. Actually stars aren't shaped like stars at all. They're actually shaped liked balls. If a star happens to get too close to a black hole and interferes with its gravity, it would get sucked into the hole so that light can't even escape. A star about the size of our sun will burn out in about 10,000 million years. The lifetime of a star depends on its size. The larger the star the shorter it will burn. Stars also burn at different brightnesses. A star will shine brighter if it's hotter. They also come in di fferent colors. They mainly come in yellow, white, red, and blue.

Open clusters and globular clusters are the two different types of star clusters.Open clusters are bright young clusters that have just formed. They are usually still relatively close together in space. A globular cluster is millions of stars grouped together that appear as very faint stars. There are 4 different types galaxies. Their names are spiral, barrel, elliptical, and irregular galaxies. The spiral galaxy has a bright middle and two curving arms on the outside. Barrel galaxies have a middle with one arm at each end. Elliptical galaxies have old red stars in it with not much gas or dust. This type of galaxy varies in shape from circle to oval. An irregular galaxy has just clouds and stars with no fixed shape. Astronomers aren't quite sure what our galaxy (the Milky Way) is. They mostly believe it is a spiral galaxy, but some say that its a barrel, spiral galaxy.

Constellations


There are at least 88 constellations that we know of so far. The constellations in the sky may seem to move, but they actually stay in one place while we move, because the earth rotates. Sailors of the past used to use constellations to find their way across the sea. Some people still use that technique to this day. Just recently in the big dipper, scientists discovered a new star in the handle. Here are a few constellations:

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This is a constellation of the Little Dipper.
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This is the Big Dipper constellation




















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Comets


Comets are just chunks of dirty ice, dust, and grit. The brighter comets usually have two main tails, one of them is gas and the other is dust. The tail on a comet can be 100 million miles long. Comets only travel around the sun. Usually a comet is to small to see from earth, unless it comes really close to the sun. A comet's tail always points away from the sun. This is because the solar winds blow it away. Scientists think ther can be about 100,000 comets orbiting around the sun at one time.
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This is a comet orbiting around the sun.

Halley's comet was last seen in 1986. Every 76 years Halley's comet can be seen soaring around in the skies.












Asteroids


Asteroids are just pieces of rock or rock like materials. Some scientists believe that asteroids are just pieces left over from our solar system when it was formed. The first sighting of an asteroid was in 1801 by a guy named Piazzi. At first Piazzi thought it was a planet so he named it Ceres. Although, Ceres is the largest asteroid. The word asteroid means "like star". Asteroid Gaspra was first sighted in 1991 by the space probe called Galileo. Another photo taken by the space probe Galileo was called Ida. The photo was taken in 1993. This asteroid is about 35 miles long. It is only one of the many thousand of asteroids in the asteroid belt.

Black Holes


The general theory of relativity states that a black hole is a region in space where nothing, not even light, can escape. Its the result of deformation in the space-time continuum caused by a very compact mass. In the area around a black hole there is an undetectable surface which marks the point of no return, called an event horizon. Its called black because it absorbs all of the light it hits, reflecting nothing. Even though black holes have an invisible interior, they can be observed by their interaction with matter. They also emitt high levels of radiation, which can be detected from earthbound and orbiting telescopes. Some astronomers have identified many stellar black holes candidates, and super-massive black holes in the center of different galaxies. In 2008 astronomers found evidence that a super-massive black hole exists in the center of our galaxy.

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Sources:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_space
http://library.thinkquest.org/5014/planets.html
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/comets/halley.html
http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/asteroid_worldbook.html