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5 Astonishing Facts You might not Know about Outer Space

We all had to memorize that cute mnemonic solar system device in grade school that taught us the order of the planets. Some of us even had Milky Way placemats. But for most of us, the outer space education ended there.

Maybe that’s because space feels too distant to ever be relevant to our day-to-day routines. Or maybe it’s simply that the otherworldly element generally overwhelms us and bruises our intellectual egos. But maybe it’s time to start paying attention to space again. Here’s a collection of interesting and altogether weird facts about outer space that you probably didn’t learn in school or even on TV.

1. Old Light

Believe it or not, the sunlight we see today is actually 30,000 years old. That’s when the energy of sunlight was created in the sun’s core, and it has since then been fighting to penetrate the dense matter of the sun. Once it reaches the surface, the light takes only about eight minutes to reach us.

Scientists have confirmed that, due to its age, sunlight does in fact smell like old people. More specifically, like Magda from There’s Something About Mary.

2, Extra Moons

In 1986, a scientist named Duncan Waldron discovered an asteroid in elliptical orbit around the sun that seemed to mimic Earth’s revolution. Because the asteroid appeared to be following our planet, it was sometimes referred to as Earth’s second moon. Since then, at least three similar asteroids have been discovered.

Most recently, the Earth and the moon went on “Maury” to discover that, as suspected, Earth is the father of those asteroids.

3. Lasting Footprints 

Due to the absence of air and wind on the moon, all astronaut footprints last for millions of years, longer than the most permanent structures on Earth. As long as a meteor or any other space particle does not hit the moon, any impressions made into its surface will virtually last forever.

Just imagine all the penis doodles the moon would wake up with if the aforementioned frat-boy excursion were to go down.

4. Long Days

Amazingly, a single day on Venus is longer than its entire year. It takes Venus 243 Earth days to completely rotate on its axis, but just 225 days to orbit the sun. Stranger still, Venus is one of two planets that rotates in reverse, a phenomenon called retrograde motion.
Most theories attribute the reverse rotation to an ancient planetary collision. That’s what happens when you make fun of Pluto’s mom.

5. Milky Way Satellites

Planets in the solar system aren’t the only celestial bodies with satellites in orbit. The Milky Way galaxy itself has at least 15 satellite galaxies in orbit around it.

Just as the moon is gravitationally bound to the Earth, these satellite galaxies are gravitationally bound to the Milky Way, which lovingly refers to them as “ma’ bitches.”

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