The thing about science is that everything we take as fact now is still subject to scrutiny, and may turn out to be complete hogwash when new information is discovered. This is particularly true with things outside of the earth, because it’s not really a place that we can visit or watch any time we want. Here are 5 things in outer space that you were wrong about:
1. Pluto’s color
Go ahead and ask the person sitting closest to you to say the color of Pluto. Chances are she’s going to answer “Blue” and you will agree with her. Both of you are wrong; because the most recent photos from the New Horizons probe show it as brownish red. In fact, the actual color of the planet should be closer to Mars’, but cosmic and sun rays affect the methane on its surface and end up giving it a tan.
2. The hottest planet is the one closest to the Sun
Unless you’re one of the many who don’t know which planet is which, you most likely assume that the hottest planet in our solar system is Mercury. Because it’s the closest to the sun. You can’t argue with that logic. Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t care about your logic. Venus, which is 30 million miles farther from the sun than Mercury, is actually the hottest. This is because Venus has an atmosphere that traps the sun’s heat, whereas Mercury lacks an actual atmosphere.
3. We live outside of the sun
Another case of the Universe crapping all over your silly logic. We assume that we’re outside of the sun primarily because if we weren’t, nobody will be around to assume because we would have died a long, long time ago. But the truth is that the sun’s outer atmosphere extends far beyond its visible surface and encompasses the earth. This is why we still get gusts of solar wind.
4. Pluto’s size
Pluto used to be known as a small planet, and while it was recently demoted to the status of “not-a-planet,” it regained a little bit of credibility and is now known as a “dwarf planet.” The word “planet” makes one think that it’s huge, right? Not as big as earth, but certainly big enough to contain a continent or two. Wrong. Pluto is just 1400 miles across, which is not even half of the United States (2,900 miles from Northern California to Maine.)
5. Black holes
You can blame the name itself here. When you say “hole,” you think of an empty space. But there are no holes in a “Black Hole.” In fact, it’s full of so much dense matter crammed together into a small area, that not even light could escape it.
Do you know any other space-related stuff that we are wrong about? Sound off in the comments.