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Know your Universe

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Mr.J.Raja, Superintendent of Customs, Trichy inspired us by sharing this beautiful slide show titled as “Travel through Universe”. We thought of enhancing this topic by providing more facts about Universe.  And here they are.

A “light year” is a measure of distance, not time. It is defined as the distance light travels in one year. Light moves at a velocity of about 300,000 kilometres each second, so in one year, it travels about 9,500,000,000,000 kilometres.
There are an estimated 50 thousand million galaxies in the universe, with the typical galaxy containing 50 thousand million to 100 thousand million stars. It is estimated that there are 1022 stars in total in the universe
As late as 1820, the universe was thought by European scientists to be 6,000 years old. It is now thought to be about 13,700,000,000 years old.
The Earth is rotating on its axis at a rate of 460 metres per second at the equator, and is orbiting the sun at a rate of about 30 kilometres per second. The sun is orbiting the centre of the Milky Way at a rate of about 220 kilometres per second. The Milky Way is moving at a speed of about 1000 kilometres per second towards a region of space 150 million light years away called the Great Attractor.
While astronomers used to believe that galaxies were distributed more or less evenly through space, they have now found regions where galaxies are rare or absent. The largest of these regions is located in the direction of the constellation Bootes, and measures more than 300 million light years across.
The matter in the universe is so thinly dispersed that the universe can be compared with a building twenty miles long, twenty miles wide, and twenty miles high, containing only a single grain of sand.
A massive star has a shorter lifetime than a less massive star. The more massive a star, the more tightly its gravity pulls it together, the hotter it must be to keep it from collapsing, and the more rapidly it uses up its hydrogen fuel. The reason there are so few really massive stars is that they do not live very long, as little as a million years. For comparison, our sun has an expected lifetime of about 11,000 million years.
Can you hear in space? In theory, if there is nothing to receive the sound, there is no sound. Because there are no “air waves” in space to conduct the sound, it would not carry. So, the object would make a noise, but it would not carry to any receiver, and no one would hear it.
About 25% of the universe consists of “dark matter”, and about 70% consists of “dark energy”, leaving only about 5% of the universe visible to us.
Most of the elements found in the human body originated in stars; we are literally made of stardust.
The Milky Way has a radius of about 50,000 light years.
The oldest galaxies we can see are right next door to us in the present universe. Looking out into space, we see images of galaxies that become younger and younger the further out we look. We actually see images of the youngest galaxies in the universe the farther out we look.
If space is infinite, there is nothing on the other side. If space is finite because it has been bent around upon itself because of gravity, then again there is nothing on the other side of it because there is no seam. It looks like the surface of a smooth ball which represents a piece of flat paper bent upon itself.
The most distant object ever observed is estimated to be around 13,000,000,000 light-years away. Discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2004, it is located behind the galactic cluster Abell 2218, which bends the object’s light. It is a small, energetic galaxy whose light that is seen now would have set out when the universe was just 750 million years old.
Brighter stars emit blue light, and cooler stars emit red light.