On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe was created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Check out these 6 crazy facts you probably didn't know about the universe....
Kepler Was Wrong Seventeenth-century astronomer Johannes Kepler should have stuck with his theories about the motion of the planets, because it turns out that he was wrong about the age of the universe to the tune of billions of years. Astronomers now estimate the age of the universe at around 13.7 billion years, give or take a few million. The age was calculated by measuring the density of energy and matter in the universe, which determined how fast it expanded billions of years back into the past.
When You Look At the Stars, You Are Looking Back In Time The light shining from the stars in the sky has taken years to reach our eyes. That means we're looking into the past when we gaze at the stars in the sky at night. For example, the bright star Vega is relatively close to us at 25 light-years away, so the light we see left the star 25 years ago; while Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion is 640 light-years away, so the light left the star around 1381 during the time of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.
There's a Massive Diamond in the Sky Astronomers have discovered the largest known diamond in our galaxy is a massive lump of crystallized diamond called BPM 37093, otherwise known as Lucy after The Beatles’ song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. It can be found 50 light-years away in the constellation of Centaurus. Its size? A staggering 10 billion trillion trillion carats, which makes the largest natural diamonds on planet earth seem invisible by comparison.
A Year On Venus Is Shorter Than Its Day Venus is the slowest rotating planet in our Solar System. Venus spins so slowly that fully rotating takes longer than completing its orbit, which means the planet has days that last longer than its years. It’s also home to one of the most inhospitable environments imaginable, with constant electronic storms, high CO2 readings, and it’s shrouded by clouds of sulfuric acid.
There Are More Stars In The Universe Than Grains of Sand on Earth The universe extends far beyond our own galaxy, which is why scientists can only estimate how many stars are in space. However, scientists estimate the universe contains approximately 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, or a septillion. While no one can actually count every single grain of sand on the earth, however the estimated total from researchers at the University of Hawaii, is somewhere around seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains. That is an awfully big sand castle!
The Voyager 1 Spacecraft is the Furthest Man-Made Object From Earth In 1977, two spacecraft were launched through the Voyager Program to explore planets and moons located on the outer edge of our Solar System. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have been orbiting for many decades and are now traveling through the heliosphere to probe into interstellar space. Voyager 1 is now considered the furthest man-made object from the earth after departing the Solar System in 2013. It is now at a distance of 124.34 Astronomical Units away. That's the equivalent of approximately 1.15581251×1010 miles away from earth.