A nebula is basically a giant cloud of gas found in space. The gas in question is mostly hydrogen mixed with helium, dust, other ionized gases and whatever else might be floating around way out there. There was a time when we used the term “nebula” to refer to any astronomical object that was too far away to see clearly, including star clusters and even galaxies.
International Space Station commander Barry Wilmore needed a wrench. Normally NASA would send one up on the next mission to the International Space Station. It would arrive eventually, but that would have…
There are very few moments more humbling than when you gaze up at the night sky and see the massive world around us, which nevertheless represents just a tiny fraction of the Universe we live in. At least in theory. If you’re a city dweller, heightened light pollution means that if you bother to look up at all, you’ll see maybe a handful of stars. You really need to be in a dark, cloudless area with a wide sky to enjoy the cosmic spectacle to its fullest. But fear not, fellow stargazer, for such places still exist.
As residents of the Milky Way galaxy, we live in a galaxy that is over 100,000 light years in diameter with over 800 billion stars and planets. And that’s just the Milky Way — scientists have calculated that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Meaning, we inhabit 1 of over 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the universe. Enjoy twenty-nine more fascinating space facts from All That Is Interesting that will make your problems feel infinitesimal:
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You are doomed. One of the more disheartening findings of modern science is that the Earth is ultimately going to be rendered uninhabitable. The Sun has been increasing in luminosity throughout its history and if the trend continues for another billion years Earth will no longer be able to support liquid water. A few billion years after that, the Sun will finally expand and expose the Earth to friction from the solar atmosphere.
This will gradually rob the Earth-Moon system of its momentum and send it spiraling down into oblivion. The only bright spot is that literally everyone and everything you’ve ever known will have died long before any of this happens, since the average mammal species goes extinct after about 2 million years, so cheer up.