1. Mars’s volcano Olympus Mons is the biggest in the solar system. It covers the same area as Ireland and is three times higher than our Mount Everest.
2. Life is known to exist only on Earth, but in 1986 NASA found what they thought might be fossils of microscopic living things in a rock from Mars.
3. Most scientists say life’s basic chemicals formed on the Earth. The astronomer Fred Hoyle said they came from space.
4. Oxygen is circulated around the helmet in space suits in order to prevent the visor from misting.
5. The middle layers of space suits are blown up like a balloon to press against the astronaut’s body. Without this pressure, the astronaut’s body would boil!
6. The gloves included in the spacesuit have silicon rubber fingertips that allow the astronaut some sense of touch.
7. The full cost of a spacesuit is about $11 million.
9. Glowing nebulae are named so because they give off a dim, red light, as the hydrogen gas in them is heated by radiation from the nearby stars.
10. The Drake Equation was proposed by astronomer Frank Drake to work out how many civilizations there could be in our galaxy – and the figure is in millions.
11. SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – the program that analyzes radio signals from space for signs of intelligent life.
12. The Milky Way galaxy we live in: is one among the BILLIONS in space.
13. The Milky Way galaxy is whirling rapidly, spinning our sun and all its other stars at around 100 million km per hour.
14. The Sun travels around the galaxy once every 200 million years – a journey of 100,000 light-years.
15. There may be a huge black hole in the very middle of the most of the galaxies.
16. The Universe is probably about 15 billion years old, but the estimations vary.
17. One problem with working out the age of the Universe is that there are stars in our galaxy which are thought to be 14 to 18 billion years old – older than the estimated age of the Universe. So, either the stars must be younger, or the Universe older.
18. A day in Mercury lasts approximately as long as 59 days on earth.
19. As the earth turns, the stars come back to the same place in the night sky every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds. This is a sidereal day (star day).
20. From the moon, astronauts brought back 380 kg of Moonrock