1. Saturn’s rings are made up of particles of ice, dust and rock. Some particles are as small as grains of sand while others are much larger than skyscrapers.
2. The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is a hurricane-like storm system that was first detected in the early 1600′s.
3. Comet Hale-Bopp is putting out approximately 250 tons of gas and dust per second. This is about 50 times more than most comets produce.
4. The Sun looks 1600 times fainter from Pluto than it does from the Earth.
5. There is a supermassive black hole right in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy that is 4 million times the mass of the Sun.
6. Asteroids and comets are believed to be ancient remnants of the formation of our Solar System (More than 4 billion years ago!).
7. Comets are bodies of ice, rock and organic compounds that can be several miles in diameter.
8. The most dangerous asteroids, those capable of causing major regional or global disasters, usually impact the Earth only once every 100,000 years on average.
9. The largest found meteorite was found in Hoba, Namibia. It weighed 60 tons.
10. The risk of a falling meteorite striking a human occurs once every 9,300 years.
11. A piece of a neutron star the size of a pin point would way 1 million tons.
12. Europa, Jupiter’s moon, is completely covered in ice.
13. Light reflecting off the moon takes 1.2822 seconds to reach Earth.
14. There has only been one satellite destroyed by a meteor, it was the European Space Agency’s Olympus in 1993.
15. The International Space Station orbits at 248 miles above the Earth.
16. The Earth orbits the Sun at 66,700mph.
17. Venus spins in the opposite direction compared to the Earth and most other planets. This means that the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East.
18. The Moon is moving away from the Earth at about 34cm per year.
19. The Sun, composed mostly of helium and hydrogen, has a surface temperature of 6000 degrees Celsius.
20. A manned rocket reaches the moon in less time than it took a stagecoach to travel the length of England.
Sneha Reddy, Student Representative, Science Forum