Amazing Otherworldly Facts About Our Solar System

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Amazing Otherworldly Facts About Our Solar System

Photo by: Vadim Sadovski via Shutterstock

 

The solar system is Earth’s home.

It is also the home of many other amazing worlds other than ours, with their own stories to tell. While the universe may seem so mysterious and deep, we have enough resources right now to try and make sense of it. Here are some facts about our own solar system you may not know about. 

 

Photo by: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr

 

Venus’ Whipping Winds

Venus may be named after the Roman goddess of sex, love, and beauty, but the planet is a little more unwelcoming than the goddess. This second planet to the Sun is home to winds that are so violent and fast that they “flow 50 times faster than the planet’s rotation.” Nothing says violent better than that tidbit of fact. Space.com, a space and astronomy news website, added that Venus’s surface winds only get stronger over time. 

 

Photo by: CC0 Public Domain via Max Pixel

 

Water Exists Elsewhere in the Solar System—In the Form of Ice

The Earth may be the only planet in existence that has as much water as it does but where we once thought no other celestial body can hold water at all, we are now finding more evidence that the galaxy is actually chock-full of water, although they are mostly too cold to actually be considered liquid.  

According to Space.com, water ice has even been found in Mercury, a planet many people think is not capable of harboring it due to its proximity to the Sun. Mars also has ice poles, and even asteroids were also found to have water ice on their surface, as well as other planetary moons like Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus. 

 

Photo by: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr

 

Mercury is Shrinking

This may not be a very well known fact but the planet Mercury is getting smaller. Apparently, Mercury is also a tectonically active planet like Earth that it almost always has new land formations to boast when Earth probes do flybys. The Space.com’s article, which collected evidence to support this from a 2016 data from the spacecraft MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging), mentioned that there were new “cliff-like landforms known as fault scarps” that were relatively small, leading scientists to believe that these were formed not very long ago and are therefore proof that Mercury is still contracting even after 4.5 billion years when the solar system formed. 

 

Photo by: UKT2 via Pixabay

 

Nothing but Silence

Space may be filled with billions of twinkling stars, and big gas and ice-cold planets, but do not be deceived. For all their might, these celestial bodies are hulking and silent. According to Mashable, a digital media website, the nonexistent atmosphere of space makes it impossible for any kind of sound to travel. 

 

Photo by: Jatuporn Chainiramitkul via Shutterstock

 

A Footstep for a Hundred Years

Did we already mention that when there isn’t any kind of medium to carry sound in space, it also means there is barely any wind in planets and other celestial bodies without sufficient atmospheres, like the Moon? For this reason, those footprints that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left on the Moon are going to stay there for the next hundred years. This is because no water or wind will wet or blow them away. But if that’s the case, why only a hundred years? Won’t they stay forever? Not exactly. The Moon still deals with micrometeorites, which cause erosion on the lunar surface, albeit very slowly.

 

Photo by: Kevin Gill via Flickr

 

“Planet Nine”

We’ve always known that there are eight planets in our solar system, but that may be about to change. 

That’s right. A 2015 announcement of the California Institute of Technology suggested that there might be a ninth planet residing at the very edge of the solar system called, unsurprisingly, “Planet Nine.” Not much is known of this planet, only that it is another supposed giant planet. Its existence is theorized because it could explain the current movement of the Kuiper Belt, “an icy collection of objects beyond Neptune’s orbit” that astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown have been monitoring for years now.

 

Photo by: Vadim Sadovski via Shutterstock

 

Life Out There

While scientists have yet to discover life beyond our planet, they are also not discounting the fact that it does exist, we just haven’t met them yet. Due to the fact that there are extreme microbial lives here on Earth capable of existing under the harshest conditions, experts are thinking that it can also be possible on Mars, in the oceans of Jupiter’s moon known as Europa, and beneath the ice of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. This is why scientists make sure our spacecraft are sterilized before being sent to outer space so that we don’t contaminate the worlds we visit.

 

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