The universe is vast and full of mysteries. Much like DJ Khaled’s music. We have been taught about the universe at schools, colleges and we read about it everywhere be it news channels, editorials, newspapers, or the internet. Along with this exchange of information, we have come to have known a lot about the universe and the space surrounding us. Concepts like black holes being up to billions of kilometers in diameter, stars exploding into a supernova, starts being born in nebulae, and the existence of dark matter are a few things that we have come to know about the space. But among these concepts, there are a few which we have been forced to believe blindly. And they are false. Yes, false. These space facts are false and we have believed them all our lives. Well, not anymore.
Although Earth appears to be perfectly round, it is not so. Popular imagery of the planet in the internet, movies, and printed pictures have made us believe that Earth is perfectly round. But the reality is far from it. Instead, the Earth is a little flatter at the poles and is a little stretched out at the equator. This is because of the rotation of the Earth. As the Earth rotates on the axis, it tends to stretch at the equator, thus giving it a rather potato like look rather than a perfect sphere like a basketball.
We have often seen in movies that without a space suit people tend to explode. Like, instantly. Boom! And everything is shattered in irregular pieces of meat floating around in space. But that is not what would actually happen if you were flung in space without a space suit. You will die, no doubt about that, but it would be slow and gradual. Your lungs will be fully functional but you would not get any oxygen in outer space which would lead you to ultimately die of suffocation.
According to popular belief, summers happen because the Earth gets too close to the sun and similarly winter happen because the Earth drifts away from the Sun. But this is simply false. Season happen because of the Earth's tilted axis, which is categorized as the’ Equinox’ and the ‘Solstice’. As the Earth revolves around the sun, the tilted part of the Earth gets the warmer climate. This is exactly why different hemispheres of the planet have different summers and winters. Yes, the northern and southern hemispheres have different winters and summers.
We have been taught that mercury is that hottest planet in our solar system. And why wouldn’t it be, right? It is the closest to the Sun after all. But this is not true. Mercury, although the closest to our star, is not the hottest planet in the solar system. In reality, Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system. The temperatures on the surface of Venus never go below 463 degrees Celsius, whereas, the surface temperature of Mercury is 420 degrees Celsius at its maximum. And mind you, this is just the surface temperature. The prime culprit is the accumulated amounts of the carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere of Venus that traps the heat from the sun.
We always see the same side of the moon because the moon does not rotate. This implies that it has a part that always remains in the dark, right? Wrong! We do not see the same side of the moon because it does not rotate. We see the same side because it is tide locked with the Earth and the rotation of the moon coincides with that of the Earth. Call it nature’s magic or coincidence, but the Earth and the moon rotate at the same pace. This leads us to see the same side of the moon every time. But the other unseen side of the moon does receive sunlight and not at all remains in the dark.
Many have come to believe that Venus is Earth’s twin. But this is simply not true. Although Venus may look similar in pictures, it is completely different when compared to our life nurturing planet. Venus, unlike planet Earth, is full of carbon dioxide which is the prime reason why it is so hot. And the atmosphere is full of clouds made of sulphuric acid which is also why taking the exact pictures of its surface is very difficult.
These were some of the space facts that grew to be popular in modern times due to misleading print and multi-media. I hope you are clear on these now.
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