Welcome back to Galactic Astrodub! Today I bring you the natural wonders of space.
It's normal to think as space as boring, the planets in our solar system appear to be empty rocks or balls of gas; you'll find a whole lot of nothing before you get to the next star while in the meantime Hollywood is making it seem like there's monsters and aliens that probe. When the real space is actually much; much weirder.
1. One of the universe biggest showoff actually used to be a star, it started off life as one of two parts of a binary star. The larger twin made like an atom bomb and supernova-ed. What was left behind was just a pulsating star (Pulsar) and a white dwarf. The dwarf stabilized just far enough away from its brother to lose matter to it but kept it's carbon core. Carbon is a ton of heat and pressure away from becoming a diamond. On Earth this happens naturally with underground pressure. In this particular spot in space the conditions were just right for the entire interior of the former star to harden, crystallize and turn into a planet sized gem.
2. Scientists have found a huge pool of water floating freely out in the cosmos. This massive reservoir of floating space water vapor is the biggest collection of water in our galaxy. It's 100,000 times larger than the sun and holds 140 trillion times more water than all of our oceans combined.
3. For a while scientists have known that lightning isn't unique to Earth because they've observed lightning on Mars and Saturn. What they didn't know is that lightning can hit anywhere in space with a force equal to a trillion lightning bolts. Imagine a bolt of lightning 50% longer than the milky way galaxy.
4. One of the very first lessons you learned about the cosmos in school was that the sun is hot. The surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and several thousand times hotter at the core. Recently scientists discovered that not every sun is hot. They found one that is 20 degrees hotter than a cup of coffee and even weirder they found one that is only 80 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning we could land on it in space helmet and shorts. It's known as a brown dwarf and these little guys begin their lives like a normal star but lack the mass to undergo hydrogen fusion, which releases energy from a star in the form of heat.
5. One of the most difficult parts about space is grasping the sense of scale since it really is so unique we see something that size in its entirety. Our sun is 109 times larger than earth and if you gathered all the mass in our solar system; the sun would still contain 99% of that mass. Now imagine a star that is as big compared to the sun as the sun
is to the Earth. It is almost impossible to show the scale because the solar system wouldn't even take up a pixel next to this sun. VY Canis Majoris is a red hypergiant roughly 1.7 billion miles in diameter which means it takes eight hours for its own light to travel from one side to the other. It's also a million times brighter than our sun and it's so far away that scientists haven't had much time to study it.
I hope you all enjoyed the read!