Seven Stellar Facts About Our Solar System

By admin March 20, 2015

Believe it or not, Friday 20th March 2015 will forever be known as quite a remarkable day.

If you were up and out early enough, you may have seen the solar eclipse this morning – but that’s not all. Today also marks the spring equinox and the appearance of the supermoon.

To celebrate this sensational selection of celestial events, here are seven amazing stellar facts about our solar system…

 1. Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. This mysterious sphere’s gravitational pull acts as a vacuum cleaner that sucks up space junk and dangerous debris before it reaches Earth.

2. A day on a planet is generally measured by one full rotation. Based on this, one day on Mercury is equivalent to a whopping 58 Earth days!

3. The moon is actually spinning away from our planet at a rate of around 3.8 cm each year. In around 50 billion years, it will take almost double the length of time to orbit the Earth.

A look at our solar system from space

4. After returning from the moon, the Apollo 11 crew were quarantined in a tank by President Nixon until he thought they were free of potential ‘lunar diseases’.

5. In total, there is said to be a mind-boggling 100 – 200 billion alien planets lurking around in the Milky Way.

6. You would weigh much less on the moon. Due its small mass, the gravity experienced on the moon is six times less than on our planet, therefore, you would weigh six times less and be able to jump six times higher!

Man on the Moon...

7. Due to the weightlessness of space, astronauts have to strap into special exercise machines and work out for at least two hours a day to prevent a serious loss of muscle mass.

You may not be able to sign up to NASA and take a ride into space, but if this has got you in the mood to take to the skies, check out our exciting selection of flying experiences.

Did you see the solar eclipse this morning?

Images: sweetie187, NASA goddard space flight center and dave smith via flickr

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