Interesting Fast Facts about Earth and Space Part-I

  • There are 1040 islands around Britain, one of which is the smallest island in the world: Bishop’s Rock.
  • The sun is 330,330 times larger than the earth. See the size of the sun in comparison
  • The crawler, the machine that takes the Space Shuttle to the launching pad moves at 3km/h (2 mph).
  • The order of the planets, starting closest to the sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
  • The one place where a flag flies all day, never goes up or comes down, and does not get saluted, is the moon.
  • Earth is not round; it is slightly pear-shaped. The North Pole radius is 44mm longer than the South Pole radius.
  • The ozone layer averages about 3 millimeters (1/8 inch) thick.
  • Summer on Uranus lasts for 21 years – but so does winter.
  • The Sahara desert expands at about 1km per month.
  • Oceanography, the study of oceans, is a mixture of biology, physics, geology and chemistry.
  • More than 70% of earth’s dryland is affected by desertification.
  • The US has one of the highest fire death rates in the industrialized world, with more than 2 million fires reported each year.
  • The largest iceberg ever recorded was 335km (208 miles) long and 97km (60 miles) wide.
  • Luke Howard used Latin words to categorize clouds in 1803.
  • Hurricanes, tornadoes and bigger bodies of water always go clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. This directional spinning has to do with the rotation of the earth and is called the Coriolis force.
  • Winds that blow toward the equator curve west.
  • Organist William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 with the first reflecting telescope that he built. He named it Georgium Sidium in honour of King George III of England but in 1850 it was renamed Uranus in accordance with the tradition of naming planets for Roman gods.
  • Planets, meaning wanderers, are named after Roman deities: Mercury, messenger of the gods; Venus, the god of love and beauty; Mars, the god of war; Jupiter, king of the gods; and Saturn, father of Jupiter and god of agriculture; Neptune, god of the sea.
  • During a total solar eclipse the temperature can drop by 6 degrees Celsius (about 20 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • The tallest waterfalls in the world are Angel Falls in Venezuela. At 979 m (3,212 ft), they are 19 times taller than the Niagara Falls, or 3 times taller than the Empire State Building.
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