Whoa! 46 Facts About Space That Are Truly Out of This World

Ever find yourself miles away from big-city lights on a clear night? Look up, and the amount of stars in the sky can unsettle you. Who knew they were always up there blanketing our skies? You start to grasp the scale of our universe this way, and it's breathtaking. Now, match that sense of awe with hard facts gathered by scientists, and you will look at our world at home and beyond our atmosphere much differently. Find ahead 46 mind-blowing facts about space to get you started.

— Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes

Getty | Photo by Obbchao

We are made of stardust, because the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen in our bodies come from long-lost stars created 4.5 billion years ago.

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Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains at least 100 billion stars, including our sun.

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Our neighbor galaxy is Andromeda, which is 2.5 million light years away. There could be life there looking out at the Milky Way!

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The universe is 68 percent dark energy and 27 percent dark matter, none of which has been observed by us. Normal matter, including everything on Earth, only makes up 5 percent of the universe.

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The universe is getting larger. Only 14 billion years ago, it could be compressed into a single point in space.


To scale: the sun is the size of a front door and Earth is the size of a nickel.

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The sun rotates at different rates since it's not solid. In the center, it rotates every 25 Earth days and at the poles every 36 days.


On Venus, the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.

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Surface temperatures on Venus can rise past 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and space probes are destroyed by the planet's temperatures in hours.

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About 275 million stars are born and die each day, and in about 5 billion years, our star — the sun — will die.

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Saturn's rings aren't solid, and the particles range from the size of a grain of sand to the size of a skyscraper.

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We're lucky to have such a nice star. Planet WASP-12b is being eaten by its sun-like star and only has 10 million more years to live.


Because of Uranus's unusual rotational pattern — rotating horizontally — it's nicknamed the "sideways planet."

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Twice every 29-and-a-half years, Saturn appears ringless.


Standing on Mercury's surface, the sun would appear three times larger than it does on Earth.