Among myths and legends, many stories have been told that makes us believe lies about space.
Our knowledge of the universe is changing so rapidly that even astronomers have to be constantly updated. It’s not easy to handle so much information, so it’s common for people not to check what they read online, creating a lot of rumours about space and the mysteries of the universe.
Astronauts have no weight in space: The only reason people believe this is because you can see astronauts floating, the truth is that the Space Shuttle is in free fall with them inside, but they are moving so fast laterally, that their centre of gravity changes course, that is, they are falling horizontally.
The sun is yellow: Although most photographs and drawings depict it as such, the reality is that the sun is white, and the only reason it looks yellow is that of the distortion of our atmosphere.
Your cell phone uses satellites: This is a big lie, 99% of communications are conducted, through underwater cables, only a small portion is conducted through satellites.
It’s dangerous to fly through an asteroid belt: This legend has spread especially because of the way Star Wars shows it on the screen; the truth is that you could hardly see the dimension of asteroids; they are much smaller than those used by Hollywood for their movies.
The Great Wall of China is the only man-made work, visible from space: No, the great wall is not really all that can be visible from the ISS, just about 250 miles up, you can this structure along with many other man-made ones, but it is definitely not the most visible.
The planet Earth is a perfect sphere: Due to its spin, the earth is actually bombed in the equator.
Mercury is the hottest planet: You might think this because it is so close to the Sun, Mercury must be the hottest planet in the solar system, but this is false, it ensures that the atmosphere of Venus averages 480 degrees Celsius, while the surface of Mercury averages 167 degrees Celsius.
The Sun is a big ball of fire: No, there is simply no fire in the Sun, this element requires oxygen, which is not there, the Sun is composed, mostly of helium and hydrogen, in fact, the heat of the Sun comes from something called nuclear fusion, the Sun’s nucleus makes the hydrogen atoms fuse with helium, this process emits the intense heat and light of the Sun.
The moon has a dark side: The moon does not have a side of absolute darkness, it is simply the face farthest from us, and it receives less light due to the rotation. The only way to see this far side is to fly around the moon.
Pluto is a planet: We already know that Pluto used to be a planet, sadly it is no longer the case, now it is considered a dwarf planet, the reason is that beyond Neptune there is something called the Kuiper belt, this belt is basically formed by massive asteroids, and Pluto is one of the objects that make up this belt.
Planet Nine: Although not found, observations of the orbits of various outer planets have led us to believe that there is a true ninth planet, it would be far away from us and much larger than the Earth.
Black holes are funnels: In movies, they are often portrayed as 2-dimensional ducts, but the truth is that these are basically dense stars, with incredibly strong gravity.
In the Middle Ages, people thought the earth was flat: Almost all scholars of the Middle Ages knew that the earth was round, that’s why people began to sail westward to go eastward, in fact, the Greeks already knew the round earth about 300 BC.
Space is cold: Actually, no, it is impossible to measure an adequate temperature in space, because there is not much to measure, a high temperature means that the atoms of the substance are excited, the vacuum of space, however, lacks atoms.
You could freeze in space: As we have just said, it is not so simple to ensure this, in fact it is more likely that you start to have higher temperatures, this is because on earth you can get rid of heat, the transfer in the form of energy is done in many ways, but in space there is nowhere to direct it.
Your body would explode in space: The human body may swell a bit but it wouldn’t crumble even close, a Houston technician was trying on a space suit when it decompressed to 120,000 feet, or 37 kilometres, it survived and only remembers the boiling saliva on his tongue before he lost consciousness.
The tails of comets follow their trail: In essence, no, a comet’s tail is influenced by heat and solar wind, not by friction or breakage, which means that the tail is always facing the Sun, regardless of the direction of the Comets.
In space you can hear explosions: The truth is that you can’t hear anything in space, because there is no way to conduct sound.
We can’t go very fast in space because our engines aren’t as powerful: Space is not as powerful as it used to be: Space is not strong enough, so even the weakest engine could accelerate to incredible speeds, the problem is the fuel, however, to accelerate for so long you need to keep the engine running, once you reach maximum speed even if you turn off the engine you could go all the way to the end of the universe, and to stop us, we would need a huge reverse thrust, which requires even more fuel.
There are explosions in space: We repeat that fire needs oxygen, so space explosions only exist in Hollywood, rocket engines create, fire, but that’s because they bring their own source of oxygen in the tank.
Astronauts fly around with jetpacks: No really, these jetpacks are used for backup, on the other hand, they don’t have enough fuel to be used as in Hollywood.
Nothing can go faster than light: This is essentially true; scientists have shown that quantum mechanics does not necessarily follow its own rules; other phenomena of this kind can drive faster than light.
NASA spent millions on making a pen that could write in space: This legend is often quoted to compare NASA to the Soviet Space Agency; the truth is that NASA uses pencils too; in fact, it never actually developed the space pen.
The Earth orbits the Sun: The truth is that each object exerts a force on all the others, this means that not only does the Sun’s gravity affect the movement of the Earth, but the Earth’s gravity affects the movement of the Sun, technically both objects orbit around a central point.