Top 10 fascinating facts about the universe that are not only interesting to astronomers

1. The largest sunspot was recorded on January 7, 2014 in the center of the solar disk

This sunspot was 237,600 kilometers long in diameter.

2.  The longest river outside Earth is located on Titan (the largest satellite of Saturn), its length is about 400 km (according to other data, 320 km)

Astronomers using NASA's Cassini spacecraft discovered deep canyons with steep banks where liquid methane and other hydrocarbons flow.

The data were obtained during a data collection mission during the space explorer's May 2013 flyby of Saturn's satellite.

3. The tallest mountain in the solar system, Mount Olympus, which astronomers viewed on Mars

To see it with instruments was not very difficult, because it is not a bag of nuts. Its area was more than 550 kilometers and its height was 25,000 meters (25 km). That is, it is three times higher than the highest peak of our planet - Mount Everest.

4. The largest star that scientists have been able to observe is a star called "UY Scuti", which can accommodate 5 billion suns

In the image above, it is very difficult to see the Sun in the background of the supergiant.

Let's zoom in on the picture a little bit. Still almost nothing to see?

Zoom in again. This little tiny speck of dust is our Sun.

Zoom in again.

And again. Yes, our Sun is just a pixel compared to this giant. Considering that the Earth is 109 times smaller than that 1 pixel, the question of our place in the universe could cause your brain to explode...

5. And here is the solar system's smallest satellite, Jupiter's satellite Leda. Its diameter is only 14 kilometers.

One complete revolution around Jupiter for this little guy takes 240.9 days. It was discovered by Charles T. Kowal in 1974. Leda received its official name in 1975.

6. The largest black hole ever discovered is at the center of the CID-947 galaxy, 220 million light years from the Milky Way Galaxy

The black hole is about 7 billion times larger than the Sun (!) and is estimated to be 11.7 billion years old. Scientists have also calculated that the rate at which the galaxy around this supergiant is devoured is simply phenomenal and has no universal precedent, at least at the moment.

7. The closest star to Earth (except the Sun) is Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf located 4.24 light years from Earth.

It was discovered in 1915. Its mass is 8 times the mass of the Sun. It belongs to the Alpha Centauri star system. And yet, even though the star is close, it is very difficult to see with the naked eye because of its dimness.

8. Gliese 581 c is a potentially habitable exoplanet

Gliese 581 c is an exoplanet located 20 light years, or 192 trillion kilometers, from Earth in the constellation Libra. The new planet, discovered in April 2007, is about 5 times more massive than Earth.

The planet revolves around the star at a distance of 10.9 million kilometers (while Earth, by comparison, is 150 million kilometers from the Sun). 

As a result, despite the fact that the star Gliese 581 is almost three times smaller than the Sun, the planet's native star in the sky looks 20 times larger than our star.

Because of its proximity to the star, Gliese 581 is affected by tidal forces and may, scientists suggest, always face the star with one side or rotate in resonance, like Mercury.

But even this planet could have life. Why? The fact is that despite two opposing poles, where one side is perpetually hot and the other is severely minus, between these two extremes is a narrow strip of territory with average conditions that could, in theory, support alien life.

9. The hottest stellar emission ever detected occurred on the surface of a small star 60 light years from Earth

The temperature of the emission was 12 times the temperature of the Sun's core and reached 200 million degrees. Scientists argue that if a similar emission were to occur on the Sun, Earth would disappear very quickly.

10. On November 16, 1966, the most abundant starfall was recorded.

It was observed in the western United States, when 144 thousand meteorites burst into the atmosphere, that is 2,300 meteorites per minute...


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