Space isn’t what you think it may be. Contrary to how space is depicted dramatically by Hollywood movies, it is a phenomenon that also adheres to scientific explanations which not many of us may know. There is much more to space and the planets than we know about. It isn’t a subject that we indulge in every day and as such we tend to take a common perception for granted. To dispel the myths about space and paint a clearer picture, here are 8 common myths about space to give you a better understanding about the infinite beyond.
1 Mercury Isn’t the Hottest Planet Just Because It Is Closest To the Sun
The distance of the planets to the sun do not determine their temperatures. Mercury may be closest to the sun but it isn’t the hottest. Although its day temperature reaches up to 420 degrees centigrade, Venus on the other hand has an average temperature of 462 degrees centigrade.
2 The Dark Side of the Moon
No the experts in the Transformers movie weren’t right. There is no part of the moon that has a darker shade. What is referred to as the dark side of the moon is actually the side that is unlit by the sun. Since the earth and moon both keep revolving simultaneously and thus we always get to see one side of the moon.
3 The Earth Is Round
Says who? The earth is flattened at the poles and though being circular in shape, it isn’t round. It is also widened at the equator. Due to shifting of tectonic plates and erosion, it has a very jagged surface much like a potato or a pear.
4 The Sun Is Yellow
Yes if you’re in kindergarten but the sun is a yellow orange or reddish in color. Its shade of color depends on the time of day as well as its position. However the actual color of the sun may surprise you which is white. The color of light depends on the temperature. The appearance of a yellow sun is because the yellow –red part of the light spectrum isn’t lost when crossing the earth’s atmosphere. This same reason applies to why the sky is blue during the day.
5 Not Wearing A Space Suit In Outer Space May Cause Your Body To Explode
Among the most common myths about space, this may happen if you’re in a Hollywood movie but what can actually happen is slower and even more painful. The lack of oxygen causes you to suffocate slowly. The resulting pressure causes ebullism to set in which is the formation of bubbles in the bodily fluids.
The bubbling is a result of the boiling point of fluid decreasing because of the pressure in the vacuum of space. Your head and organs may swell, your skin may start burning from the UV rays of the sun and your cells may start to mutate. However this happens within a couple of minutes or so by which time you will have consciousness.
6 The Sun Is A Ball Of Fire
The sun isn’t burning as a ball of fire. Rather it glows due to the generation of heat by nuclear reaction.
7 The Earth And Venus Are Identical
Despite of Venus being regarded as Earth’s twin, it isn’t anything like the Earth. The surface for one is totally inhospitable and deadly and will not support the possibility of life in comparison to Mars.
8 The Earth Is Closer To the Sun in Summer
As a common myth about space this isn’t so. The heat of summer is because of the tilt in the orbital axis of the earth and not due to the proximity to the sun. In summer the earth’s axis points towards the sun while in winter it points away. However it isn’t entirely false that the earth may be sometimes closer or further from the sun.