10 Fun Space Facts with Lucy from Eclectic Eccentricity

Eclectic Eccentricity are one of our ‘oldest’ designers at Hannah Zakari and we’ve been stocking their beautiful jewellery since 2008. We love their inspired designs, but also loved that Lucy gave up a career in Astrophysics to pursue her jewellery making dream!

We asked Lucy to contribute 10 fun space facts to include in our birthday zine and here’s the extended version of her facts!

I Just Need Some Space, Man.

I Just Need Some Space, Man.

There are 10 times more stars in the visible universe than there are grains of sand on all of Earth’s beaches and deserts. At the other end of the scale, a single grain of sand has more atoms than there are stars in the visible universe.

Venus has a longer day than it does a year – it completes one orbit of the Sun in less time than it takes to complete one full rotation on its axis. Venus is also the only planet within our solar system to rotate on its axis in a clockwise motion, known as a retrograde rotation.

The sun doesn’t actually burn (which would require oxygen); instead it glows. Heat is generated by a nuclear reaction where hydrogen is fused into helium. It’s going at quite the rate with the core releasing the equivalent of 100 billion nuclear bombs every second.

The universe is 13.8 billion years old. To put that into perspective, if all of time until now was represented as one year with the Big Bang occurring at midnight on January 1st, then humans would only show up to the party at 10.30pm on December 31st.

Looking up at the stars is like looking back in time – due to the time it takes for their light to reach us, what we’re actually seeing is what the object looked like hundreds or thousands of years ago. The most famous example is the ‘Pillars of Creation’ image of the Eagle nebula, photographed by Hubble back in 1995. These beautiful gas clouds were actually destroyed by a supernova approximately 6000 years ago, but it will take another 1000 years for us to see this destruction take place.

Despite what Stars Wars would have you believe, traveling through an asteroid field is actually quite safe. Our asteroid belt, located between Mars and Jupiter, has a total combined mass of only 4% the mass of the Moon; in fact of that total mass, most is made up of just four asteroids with the remainder being tiny tennis ball sized meteroids which are hundreds of thousands of miles apart. Even the four large asteroids (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea) will only have, on average, one collision every ten million years.

There is a diamond star called ‘Lucy’ (or more technically, BPM 37093, a collapsed star located 50 light years from Earth). Discovered in 2004, the star is 10 billion trillion trillion carats and is 4,000km across.

Despite venturing to the Moon, the Apollo 11 astronauts still had to clear customs upon their return to Earth. Arriving at Honolulu airport, they declared Moon rock and Moon dust samples as their cargo and listed their departure point as the Moon.

There is no such thing as a ‘dark side of the moon’. Due to tidal locking, the moon rotates on its axis in roughly the same time as it takes to complete an orbit of the Earth. Because of this, we always see the same side of the moon pointing towards us. However, the side we don’t see will still receive sunlight – it’s not a cold barren place after all!

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is on a collision course with our cosmic neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy. Although we’re speeding towards each other at 402,000 km an hour we don’t have to worry about our meet up for another 4 billion years. Even then, due to the distances between stars within each galaxy, very few will actually collide so statistically speaking, we’re quite safe.

If you’d like a copy of the zine to see Lucy’s illustrated contribution and all the other wonderful stuff, you can find out how to get your mitts on one here.

We’ll have an interview with Lucy coming up very soon indeed so keep your peepers peeled!

Rachael x

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