Space is crystal clear for one moment and pitch black the next moment. From cosmic explosions to the search for extra terrestrial life, nothing is as beautiful, fascinating and terrifying as Space.
10. Zero Gravity –Thou Art One Awesome Bitch!
I don’t know about Newton, but 9.8 g (Earth’s gravity=9.8m/s) is so boring. I need some zero g. It’s a common misconception that in space, there is no gravity. But concrete data shows that gravity exists but in minimal percents. For the sake of conversation, let’s stick to zero g. Alright. Zero g is so awesome that it can make you taller. What science actually tells is that the backbone i.e. the spine expands under zero g making you taller by 3%.The effect lasts even after you enter Earth for a brief period of time! Don’t ask about the side effects. Each planet has its own gravitational field. While some planets feel like a walk in the clouds, some will crush you like hell! If you’re in a merit-stricken planet like Pluto, you are as light weight as a feather. But the same doesn’t apply to Jupiter- hold on to your knee caps! Gravity is basically lumpy but when in space, all sorts of funny things happen. For instance, liquids shape themselves into sphere! Remember the scene in Tin Tin when Captain Haddock tries to gobble a mighty sphere of liquor while on free fall! Enough said.
9. Space Smells?
After a long space walk, a NASA Astronaut returned to the ISS, removed his helmet and said” Space smells kind of funny!” There’s this puzzling question as to what space actually smells like? Not every astronaut feels the same scent but most of them have strongly agreed that space smells like ‘metal and meat’-Nice combo! Actually, there’s a list being maintained to take into account the various olfactory experiences – from burning metal, pungent sulfur, plastic, fried steak to even rum and raspberries, space is one awesomely weird fragrance boutique! It’s only a matter of time before some celebrity claims this space fragrance at a star studded evening!
8. A Phenomena Called Metal Welding
Generally you need heat (melting) or high capacity glue to connect two pieces of metal together. But in space, you can join metal parts just by contact! Discovered by the scientists in the 1940s, Cold welding as the phenomenon is called, takes place under vacuum. With the space filled to its brim with vacuum, metals can easily stick to each other but like all aspects of science, there’re certain limitations! In the years to come, this unbelievable fact was dispelled as a myth by some scientists -no confirmation though. Whatever the status is; this accidental occurrence throttled the development of micro fabrication process. Scientists started using cold welding in nano-scale experiments and have been successful till date.
7. Let the Dark Matter Be With You!
Before moving on, please do not confuse the topic with dark energy, black holes or anti-matter. The Universe is composed of matter. Rather, I could put it this way – Only 4% of the matter exists in universe and the rest is unaccounted for. Theoretically speaking, there exists an invisible force called Dark Matter that makes up 85-90% of all matter in the universe! It is found everywhere, even colliding with atoms inside you real-time! Just because it is invisible doesn’t mean you can’t detect it. Experiments progressed, scientists verbally fought over theories et all, it seems the Dark Matter is neutral to EM waves meaning light and radio waves pass right through. But it can be detected indirectly – who wants to bend light rays coming from distant stars using their own gravity!
6. Footprints Last Forever In Space
This is the photograph of astronaut Edwin Aldrin’s footprint taken from the Moon surface on July 1969. And it still exists till date – I’m talking about the footprint, not the photo! You see on Moon, there is no air, no wind – no weather at all! So, it is basic understanding that the surface is intact and that surface pressure is nonexistent. That’s the reason why footprints last forever on moon. Knowing the fact now, I am thinking we could do much more than just leave footprints. We could hold rangoli competitions, create an ant maze maybe or some amazing lunar doodles! However there’s one problem – Moon gets bombed frequently by meteorites; as a result the surface changes like a mutating organism. Leaving footprints behind is kind of like a memory but carbon footprint- that something bad!
5. No…No Don’t Burp In Space! Yuck!
Astronauts can burp in space. But for Christ’s sake, don’t burp in space. After a pleasant meal, the food inside your stomach is separated as liquids and solids by gravity. As a result the gases move up. But in space, gases can’t be separated in the absence of gravity and moreover the stomach floats pushing the contents upwards. Now Hold it…Hold it…Burrrrrrp! Scientists call it a ‘wet burp’- the moment of realization and embarrassment! Now if you wanna go ahead…Go burp!
4. Astronauts Are Time Travelers
In space, time runs slow compared to earth and yes, there is proof. Atomic clocks placed on Space ships tick-tocked slower compared to the wall clocks mounted at your Grandma’s house. This is a tricky concept called Time Dilation. Astronauts up there are subject to a slower time frame and hence age slower in relative to the fact that they were on Earth and not on the ISS. Sergei Avdeyev, a Russian Cosmonaut holds the longest record for time dilation – 20 milliseconds. He aged 20 milliseconds slower than any earthly being!
3. Space Is Moving
Ever since the Big Bang, the universe is exploding in growth. New planets, new galaxies- the universe is infinite! However, the galaxies are not moving through space. The thing is space is also moving! The universe as we know is expanding and the Moon is drifting away! The Moon’s gravity causes tidal waves in Earth’s oceans; as a result our earth’s rotation is slowed down. The Moon is currently drifting away by 1.5 inches every year. If this goes on, Moon could very well become a planet some day!
9. Sound Proof
We know that in space, there’s no air. So, you must be aware that no one can hear you speak or shout even if you’re in front of their god damn face. Of course, you need to take off your helmet or cut of those micro transmitters! The thought is terrifying but at the same time, you can come up with some hilarious moments. If I was up there, I would shout each and every quote from my favorite movies! I would probably start with a classic –“Yo Adrian I did it!”
10. Sucks Everything Literally!
What am I talking about here? Hint: In Star Trek, Spock tries to create an artificial ______ using the ‘red matter’.
Spock wins! So, this black hole is a region in space where nothing, not even light or gravity can escape if made contact. The gravity here is like a million times stronger so much so that matter is compressed. A black hole normally occurs when a star dies. The black holes are invisible or black b’coz they suck light into them. But they can be found using special telescopes by examining the difference between normal stars and stars closer to a black hole. Did you know that there’s a gigantic black hole at the center of our galaxy in addition to 100,000 other smaller black holes! Don’t worry, it’s far away from the Solar System and one more thing – our sun is way too small to gain the black hole position!