Our solar system is a fascinating place, and there is still much we do not know about it. While most people are familiar with the eight planets and the sun that make up our solar system, there are many surprising and lesser-known facts that people may not be aware of. Today we will explore five surprising facts about the solar system that are sure to astound and amaze you.
Fact #1: The Sun Is Actually White
Many people believe that the sun is yellow or orange, but in reality, the sun is actually white. The sun emits all colors of light, but because its light has to travel through Earth’s atmosphere to reach us, the blue and violet light gets scattered in different directions, leaving only the yellow, orange, and red light to reach our eyes. This gives the sun the appearance of being yellow or orange, but if you were to view the sun from space, you would see that it is actually white.
Fact #2: There Are More Dwarf Planets Than Just Pluto
When we think of dwarf planets, the first one that comes to mind is usually Pluto. However, there are actually many other known dwarf planets in our solar system, including Eris, Haumea, Makemake, and Ceres. A dwarf planet is defined as a celestial body orbiting the sun that is round in shape and has not cleared its orbit of other debris. While these dwarf planets may not be as well-known as Pluto, they are still fascinating in their own right.
Fact #3: The Outer Space Smells Like a Combination of Barbecue and Welding Fumes
Have you ever wondered what outer space smells like? According to astronauts who have been on spacewalks, the smell is a combination of barbecue and welding fumes. The reason for this distinct odor is that when objects are exposed to the vacuum of space, their materials begin to break down and produce gaseous substances. When astronauts return from their spacewalks, the smell lingers on their suits and equipment, giving them a surreal reminder of their time in space.
Fact #4: Jupiter’s “Great Red Spot” Is Actually a Gigantic Storm
When we think of Jupiter, we may picture a giant gas planet with colorful stripes. But did you know that Jupiter’s most prominent feature, the Great Red Spot, is actually a gigantic storm? This storm has been raging for over 300 years and is larger than the size of Earth. The storm is so massive that it can be seen from Earth with a telescope. While scientists are not entirely sure what causes the storm or why it has lasted so long, it is certainly a fascinating feature of this iconic planet.
Fact #5: There Is a Planet Made of Diamonds
While it may seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, there is actually a planet in our solar system that is made of diamonds. The planet, known as 55 Cancri e, is roughly twice the size of Earth and is located 40 light-years away from us. The planet is composed of at least a third carbon, which is the same element that makes up diamonds. While it is unlikely that you or I will ever visit this intriguing planet, it is fascinating to think about the possibility of an entire planet made of diamonds.