15 Useless Facts About Space That Are Still Cool To Know

Space is awesome, even astonishing, and there are many reasons to be excited about the discoveries which have already been made and continue to be made in the great beyond. But, this list isn’t about the wonders of space or how cool the universe around us is. Rather, it’s about a host of facts which are completely useless, random, or mostly irrelevant. (Though, if you’re an amateur astronomer, you’re likely to find all of these to be cool facts.) Did you know South Korea spent a million dollars just to make a stench-free plate of kimchi? How about how many human remains have been launched out among the stars? Or that a vapor cloud with water 140 trillion times more massive than all the water in our oceans combined exists? From the cost of a NASA space suit to a planet which is a massive engagement ring, there are plenty of facts we’ve learned about space that haven’t really furthered our discovery or which are just plain pointless.

Changing tastes among the stars

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Astronauts’ food preferences change when they’re floating around space. International Space Station astronaut Peggy Whitson says her favorite Earth food, shrimp, is positively revolting to her in space.

An ungrateful prize committee

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One of the most influential cosmologists in history, Edwin Hubble has a crater, planetarium, asteroid, and even the famous Hubble Space Telescope named after him. Despite his contributions to the field of astronomy, Hubble never received the Nobel Prize because the Nobel Committee did not have a category for astronomy and refused to include astronomy with physics at the time.

A suit way pricier than Versace

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A useless space fact for us but useful for the finance team, the cost of an entire NASA space suit is 12 million dollars.

Neil Armstrong wasn’t born to be an actor

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Actors have plenty of lines to remember and only rarely mess one up. Neil Armstrong had one line to say when he became the first man on the moon and he botched it. Armstrong was supposed to say “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He left out the “a”, making the sentence redundant.

Betelgeuse! Betelgeuse! Betel…

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The popularly-cited star (and a name you shouldn’t try to say three times), Betelgeuse is a red star that is so massive its diameter is larger than the diameter of Earth’s entire orbit around our best-known star, the sun.

How likely we are to get hit with space debris

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Our annual risk of getting seriously injured by a piece of space debris entering the atmosphere and landing on Earth is 1 in 100 billion. If you’re worried about 1,000 ways you could die, this might not be so useless a space fact after all.

Massive celestial bodies

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Jupiter’s mass is 2.5 times greater than that of all the other solar system planets combined. Despite this useless fact, an even more useless one may be that the sun makes up 99.86% of the mass in the entire solar system.

Water can miraculously float around space

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In a galaxy far, far away – about 10 billion light years to be more precise – a massive vapor cloud is home to water with a mass 140 trillion times greater than the mass of all the water in Earth’s oceans.

Volume of the moon in comparison to the Earth

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Compared to Earth bodies, the volume of the moon would roughly equal the volume of the Pacific Ocean. Maybe an interesting fact, definitely a useless fact.

A 10 decillion-carat diamond

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Nicknamed Lucy, star BPM 37093 is a white dwarf star about 20 light years from Earth. (That’s pretty close, relatively speaking.) Kim Kardashian may want to consider visiting the star since it is a massive diamond the size of our moon. If assessed by jewelers, the diamond would be 10 decillion carats or, numerically, 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carats.

The Sombrero Galaxy

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There’s a galaxy about 28 million light years from earth that looks like – you guessed it – a Mexican sombrero. With a dark sky and strong binoculars, the galaxy can be seen from Earth.

Where Mars gets its name

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Mars’ surface is rich in iron, giving it a reddish color. This composition has led to cultures as far back as the Egyptians naming it after the color. The Egyptians named it Her Desher (“the red one”), the Chinese named it “fire star”, and the Romans named it Mars, after their god of war (equivalent to Ares in Greek mythology).

Astronauts’ special pre-liftoff diets

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Astronauts are on strict dietary regiments before blasting off, one of which includes eliminating beans from their diets. Apparently scientists haven’t yet found a way for space suits to deal with passing gas.

A year on Venus is shorter than a day on Venus

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Venus orbits the sun faster than our own Blue Planet, but it spins remarkably slower. It takes the planet 225 Earth days to make one full rotation around the sun but 243 Earth days to make a complete turn on its axis. Thus, a year on Venus is shorter than a day.

A close call for Apollo 11

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Apollo 11, the spacecraft which transported Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon landed on the lunar surface with only 20 seconds of fuel remaining.

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