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Welcome to the vast and mysterious realm of space, a subject that has fascinated humanity for centuries. However, with fascination often comes misunderstanding. Today, we’re on a mission to debunk some of the most common myths about space. Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a journey that will take you beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and into the realm of reality.
Myth: The Sun is Yellow
Contrary to popular belief, the Sun is not yellow; it’s actually white. When viewed from space, the Sun appears as a brilliant white light. It looks yellow to us on Earth because our atmosphere scattering the Sun’s light, a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering.
Myth: There is No Gravity in Space
It’s a common misconception that there is no gravity in space. In reality, a small amount of gravity can be found everywhere in space. What astronauts actually experience isn’t zero gravity, but what’s called microgravity. This gives the feeling of weightlessness.
Myth: The Great Wall of China is Visible from Space
Despite popular belief, the Great Wall of China is not visible from space without the aid of telescopic lenses. Astronauts have confirmed that they can’t see the Great Wall with the naked eye, even though it’s the longest man-made structure on Earth.
Myth: Humans Explode in the Vacuum of Space
Contrary to what some sci-fi movies suggest, humans do not explode in the vacuum of space. While exposure to space without protection is deadly, the human body would not explode. Instead, a person would lose consciousness within 15 seconds due to the lack of oxygen.
Myth: Space is Completely Silent
While it’s true that sound waves need a medium like air or water to travel through, space is not completely silent. Spacecrafts carry instruments capable of capturing radio emissions, which can be translated into sound waves that we can hear.
Myth: Black Holes are Cosmic Vacuum Cleaners
Black holes are not cosmic vacuum cleaners. They don’t suck up everything in their vicinity. Instead, they have a strong gravitational pull, and only objects that come very close to them (within the so-called event horizon) cannot escape.
Myth: The Moon’s Dark Side is Always Dark
The phrase “dark side of the Moon” is misleading. Both sides of the Moon see the same amount of sunlight, but only one side is ever visible from Earth. This is because the Moon rotates on its axis at the same rate that it orbits the Earth, a situation known as synchronous rotation.
Myth: Astronauts’ Height Doesn’t Change in Space
Actually, astronauts can grow up to two inches taller in space! This is due to the spine stretching out due to the lack of gravity. However, this height change is temporary. Once back on Earth, astronauts return to their normal height.
Myth: Mercury is the Hottest Planet Because it’s Closest to the Sun
While it might seem logical that the planet closest to the Sun would be the hottest, that’s not the case. Venus, the second planet from the Sun, is the hottest. Its thick atmosphere traps heat, leading to surface temperatures hotter than Mercury’s.
Myth: There’s a Dark Side of the Sun
Unlike the Moon, the Sun doesn’t have a dark side. The Sun is a ball of gas, so it doesn’t have a solid surface. It rotates on its axis, but all parts of the Sun emit light, so there’s no dark side.