Hello Ladies and Gents! Welcome to Rachel’s Random Facts episode 2.
To celebrate World Space Week, this week’s installment will be a special Science Edition – Enjoy!
Did you know…
Incredible Time Travel Fact:
1) According to Stephan Hawking (and the laws of physics) there is only one way to travel in time, and that is towards the future. For instance, if there was a train track that encircled the globe, and you had a train that could travel at 99.99% the speed of light, you could travel drastically forward in time. Want to guess what would happen if you got on that train and rode for just one week? Well, when you exited the train, planet Earth would be 100 years older and you would have only aged a single week. This is because the closer and closer you get to the speed of light – the slower time flows. Time on board the train would move drastically slower than the world around the train and on Earth. This is also true for objects of large mass. When you stand closer to something of large mass, time moves more slowly. Granted, you would need something of tremendous mass to really see major effects. So Stephen Hawking uses the example of putting a ship into orbit around a super-massive black hole (like the one in the center of every galaxy) because the gravity and mass would be so great that for every year you circled around it, 2 years would pass on planet Earth. So a 5-year journey around that black hole would be a decade of time passed on planet Earth. Neat, huh?
Fun Neutron Star Facts:
2) The force of gravity on a neutron star is so strong, that if you dropped an egg from a height of just 4 feet, the impact velocity would be over 1 million miles per hour by the time it hit the surface. That’s some serious gravity my friend!
3) A single teaspoon of a neutron star would weigh 100 million tons due to its immense density. For comparison, the Empire State Building in New York City is reported to weight around only 350,000 tons.
4) The highest mountain on a neutron star can only support a height of about 4 inches (also due to its immense gravity) making it a near-perfect natural sphere.
Amazing Fact About Our Own Sun:
5) Once our Sun runs out of hydrogen to fuse at its core, and has to start fusing helium instead, it will become what is known as a Red Giant. When this happens, it will greatly expand… destroying Earth in the process. After our Sun has used up all of the helium, it will become what is known as a White Dwarf. A White Dwarf has a carbon core, and at this point the Sun will begin to cool which will result in something very neat beginning to happen. In White Dwarfs, as they cool, the carbon atoms will crystallize resulting in a single diamond mass that is 300,000 times the mass of of our own planet Earth. So one day our pretty little star will become what is essentially a 10 trillion trillion carat diamond in the sky!