The secrets behind the mysterious 819-day Mayan calendar and its planetary connections over 45 years are revealed. Researchers shared how expanding the calendar’s length to 20 periods of 819 days uncovers the alignment with periods of planets in our universe.
You’re on a plane heading to an important astronomy convention when you see a large figure outside your window that eclipses the whole Sun. You spit out all of your coffee, and everyone in the plane stares outside in shock. You then notice that it has rings like Saturn. You were supposed to fly to Japan, but you’re forced to land in California.As soon as you land, you look up in the sky and see some more giant planet-like structures floating around in the sky. Everyone is taking pictures and trying to figure out what’s going on. Suddenly you notice a huge ball of fire crashing down near the airport. Everyone scrambles for safety, and luckily, it ends up in the middle of the runway with no one around. The bad news is that there’s no more runway for planes to land.
On August 20, 1977, the most ambitious space mission took off from Earth. The main goal of Voyager 2 was to study the outer Solar System up close. It became possible because of a rare alignment of planets. Voyager 2 was supposed to study all the gas giants of the Solar System: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Astronomers also hoped it would be able to find and explore the edge of the Solar System. Since Voyager 2 was built for interstellar travel, the probe was equipped with a large, 12-ft-wide antenna. It allowed the spaceship to send the data it gathered back to Earth. During its journey, the space probe discovered a 14th moon of Jupiter. Voyager 2 was the only spaceship to study all four giant planets from up close. It was the first human-made object to fly past Uranus, where it found two new rings and ten new moons. Voyager 2 also flew by Neptune and noticed its “Great Dark Spot.” That’s a colossal spinning storm in the planet’s Southern Hemisphere. The storm is the size of Earth and moves at a speed of 1,500 miles per hour! These winds are the strongest ever recorded on any planet of the Solar System.
We’re flying past the planets of our Solar System. We pass by Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Then we move through dark space beyond the edge of our world. We’ve reached our destination. It’s the Oort cloud. It’s a hypothetical region around the Solar System that holds tons of asteroids and blocks of ice. It’s likely to be where the largest comet in human history was born. And now, it’s heading toward the Sun! Bernardinelli-Bernstein was discovered totally by accident during the Dark Energy Survey. Our telescopes were pointed at distant space. Their main goal was to learn more about how the Universe was expanding. Astronomers also wanted to make a more detailed map of the observable universe.Scientists analyzed over 80,000 images and found a moving object. It was alarmingly close to our home planet. Its size was an impressive 62[ml (100 km)] miles. That’s about the width of Lake Michigan. It was an already active comet with a long tail. Usually, comets get a tail when they come close to the Sun. The heat from the star warms the comet’s surface, and light materials, like ice, begin to evaporate. This forms a cloud of steam and dust that stretches far beyond the comet.
Recently, Chinese scientists discovered something interesting on the Moon... An unusual crystal. Moreover, they found out that this crystal contains an element that can literally replace nuclear fuel! Let’s find out more. The composition of the Moon has long remained a mystery to us. Half a century has already passed since the Apollo mission. Unfortunately, we haven’t traveled to the Moon much since then, so it’s not surprising that it’s not so easy for us to study it. But recently we’ve made a breakthrough in this area! In December 2020, Chinese scientists sent a Chang’e-5 probe to the Moon. The mission was named after the ancient Chinese deity of the Moon, Chang’e. Quite poetic, isn’t it?
I hope you feel well-rested. Because I’ve got a tough task for you. Don’t worry — it’s fun! You’re going to visit different planets of our Solar System and try to run on each of them! Let’s figure out where you can run the fastest and where you can barely walk! The fastest man on Earth, Usain Bolt, can run with an average speed of about 23 miles per hour. But his top speed is higher — up to 27 miles per hour! Sadly, we can’t all be Usain Bolts. The average person runs at a speed of 6 to 8 mph. But maybe, there’s a planet out there where you can beat the famous Jamaican sprinter’s records? But first things first, what will affect your speed when you run on other planets? For one thing, gravity. Depending on how strong it is on the planet you visit, it’ll influence your weight. And in most cases, the heavier you are, the more slowly you run.
If you landed on Mercury, the first thing you’d notice would be how close it is to the Sun. It’s actually the closest planet to the big ball of fire and the smallest. But it’s not the hottest planet. Venus takes credit for that. It takes Earth 365 days to orbit the Sun, and it takes Mercury more than 3 months. Well, 88 days, to be exact. The days are boiling hot, with the temperature reaching above 800 °F (425 °C). But on the other side of the planet that the Sun doesn’t reach, the temperatures drop to −300 °F (-180 °C). Mercury’s atmosphere can’t hold any heat when it’s nighttime, just like a desert. Deserts have no atmosphere, which is why they have no moisture, and no clouds or rain.If you manage to get from one end of the planet to the other and always stay in between the scorching heat and freezing cold, then you can survive. But oxygen isn’t a friend to Mercury’s atmosphere. So you’d just live for as long as you can hold your breath. Plus, there’s a magnetic field that has solar winds from the Sun that create plasma tornadoes.
Let’s pretend that humanity faces a huge threat from outer space. We’ll imagine that a giant planet-eating octopus comes to our solar system to eat Venus, Mars, Earth, Jupiter, and other planets, except Saturn. Therefore, people decide to move to the big planet with giant rings. Fortunately, they already have cool technologies that allow them to make such trips. So, we quickly get into giant ships, take off, and fly to Saturn. Life on the planet itself is impossible because it has no solid ground. The ship won’t be able to land there. This is a giant gas ball that is 9 times wider than Earth.
There are a lot of space objects all around the Universe, from stars to planets, to satellites, comets, and asteroids. But our closest celestial body is the Moon, which has been subject to much research, theories, and even myths. As our only natural and permanent satellite, the Moon is in the top ten list of biggest satellites in our Solar System.
Mercury gets a bad rap for always being hot, but that’s not entirely true. The planet’s got no atmosphere, so its temperature swings are wild. When it’s facing the Sun, it can get up to a blistering 800°F, but when it’s turned away, it drops to a frigid −290°F. The reason for this is that Earth has a cozy atmosphere that keeps our temps in check. Mercury doesn’t have that luxury, so it’s at the mercy of the Sun’s rays. But despite all that, Mercury’s still worth checking out. It’s close to the Sun, which makes it a prime spot for studying how solar radiation affects planets. And even though it’s not exactly hospitable to life, there are still plenty of mysteries to unravel.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if every planet in our solar system was the size of Earth? Well, it’s time to dive into this mind-boggling scenario! Let’s imagine what each planet would look like if they were as big as our beloved blue planet. Would the barren, red landscape of Mars suddenly become a lush green oasis? Would the massive, swirling gas giant Jupiter just disappear? And how would it affect our solar system as a whole — are we all doomed? Buckle up and let’s find out.
The Moon. Our little companion. Our only friend in the big, dark, cold space. It’s not surprising that any events related to it, like solar or lunar eclipses, excite us. But how about... the black Moon? The blue Moon? A supermoon? Have you ever heard of them? Well, let me tell you about it and how you can observe them. Let’s get your calendars ready. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is 238,900 miles. Feels not so far, doesn’t it? But trust me — most people GREATLY underestimate this distance! Did you know that every planet in the Solar System, including Jupiter and Saturn, would fit between the Moon and us? I couldn’t believe it myself!
Now, what would Earth look like if it was the only planet in the Solar System? Or what would happen to our planet if the Moon went missing? Or what if dinosaurs had never gone extinct? We’ve all heard the story: over 66 million years ago, a big asteroid hit Earth. Almost 75% of creatures that roamed the planet at that time were wiped out in mass extinction. Amongst them, dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops, Velociraptor... All gone. But because of that, we’re all alive! According to science, the human race was developing more safely without these gigantic creatures hunting us. But what if that asteroid had crashed to the ground a few miles away from the place where it fell? What would the world be like today? Imagine walking down the street to your local supermarket and coming across a truck-sized T. rex. Could that ever happen in this alternate universe we’re talking about?
It’s hard not to wonder if there’s another form of life out there in the Universe when you look at the night sky. There’s this thing called Fermi Paradox. It basically says this: if civilizations that might live somewhere out there in the Universe are so common, why haven’t we found any signs of them? We’ve looked really hard, but we haven’t stumbled over any proof there are other forms of life somewhere in space. And we suspect there could be many civilizations because scientists have calculated there are possibly billions of habitable planets in our galaxy alone. So it would seem reasonable to assume that some of these planets could have developed intelligent life, possibly even civilizations that are more advanced than ours. So, Fermi Paradox basically asks, “Where’s the party? How come we weren’t invited?” And one of the potential answers to why we haven’t found any other form of life in the Universe is something called the Great Filter theory.
Way back in the Victorian Era, a strange celestial body appears to have popped up in our solar system. Was it an asteroid? Or maybe a comet? It took us until October 2017 to notice it and to start studying it closely. It was named Oumuamua [Oh-moo-ah moo-ah] — which is Hawaiian for “scout”. Not only is its shape extremely unusual — highly elongated and narrow — but it’s also speeding so fast that it appears the Sun’s gravity doesn’t affect it so much.
Bright, colorful flashes of pink and green light up the night sky. You’re watching it from your backyard in Pennsylvania. That’s not something you’re used to, but it’s very likely to happen more often in the near future as the northern lights are shifting south! Northern lights, or auroras, appear as a result of solar storms.
It’s the year 2031, and the first human has just set foot on the red surface of Mars. It was a long flight that lasted 172 days. It was a tough journey. There were lots of technical issues. There were some physiological obstacles. Astronauts had to deliver tons of equipment and energy-generating and life-supporting systems to the Red Planet. Those responsible for the mission had to understand how to deal with low-pressure atmosphere and catastrophic sandstorms. How to keep people safe on Mars’ surface, and how to bring them back to Earth after their work is done. It does sound like a science-fiction story. But soon, it’s going to be our reality. But the coolest thing? It’s not the limit. After exploring Mars, people might set even more ambitious goals. And this is what some of them may look like.
Jupiter’s moon Europa is covered in a thick layer of ice, but underneath it is a vast ocean of water, measuring up to 100 miles deep. Water ice was previously thought to be rare and only common for Earth, but it can, in fact, be found all over the Solar System, even on Mercury and the Moon. Saturn is less dense than water, so if it were thrown into a giant pool, it would float. Space isn’t supposed to be black: there are stars everywhere. Shouldn’t they light up everything around? You don’t see stars wherever you look because some of them haven’t existed long enough for their light to reach Earth! There are eight confirmed planets in the Solar System, but evidence shows there can be a ninth — we just haven’t discovered it yet.
Venus has exceptionally high temperatures, hot enough to melt lead. It’s the hottest planet in our Solar System, with a high-pressure environment and super-strong winds. The winds there are 50 times faster than the planet’s rotation. It’s getting stronger over time, and scientists don’t know why. But they did find something interesting in the planet’s clouds — a potential sign of decaying biological matter. Could there be life then? Not quite, since Venus has a dry, windy atmosphere and doesn’t have enough water for life to develop.
You were lucky to find that 6 by 6 foot apartment, after all. None of your friends own one: they mostly live in capsule modules where it’s only possible to sleep without turning and tossing much. The price for what they call “a mansion” today is obscenely high, and you still can’t fully accept it. Tomorrow you gotta sign that contract and make the down payment. Actually, you had the chance to buy it only because you won that chance in the lottery. This is how you live in 2999 — you and the other 100 billion people.
Voyager 1, which has been traveling through interstellar space for more than 45 years, and is trailing a long gray beard by this time (not really), it suddenly began to send strange signals to Earth. Even more bizarre, there are no signs that the probe has broken or anything. Scientists from NASA are desperately trying to find the reason. So... what’s happened, exactly? First of all, let me tell you a bit more about Voyager 1 and its long, lo-o-ong journey. Voyager 1 is an American space probe. Scientists from NASA sent it into space on September 5, 1977.
You’re strapped in a Spaceship that’ll take you all the way to Pluto for your galaxy backpacking trip. It’s the longest journey from Earth and without any shortcuts, so you’ll have to get quite comfy. It’s recommended for everyone aboard to have at least 8 hours of sleep at night.Astronauts in the International Space Station have little rooms suitable for 1 person with special sleeping bags and enough room for personal belongings. If they don’t, they’ll float, bumping into each other.
It’s there, I finally see it, for the first time in my life! A grayish body far away in the sky, hidden behind the clouds, the size of 1-4 of a full moon. It won’t be there for long, the last time it was there was 33 years ago — and we’ll have to wait for 33 years more to see it again.Tellus, the mysterious planet humankind still have so much to learn about. For a long time, Earth was the only planet quietly traveling its circular orbit around the center of our Solar System, the Sun. Our solar system was generally a pretty stable place. Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and other planets — they all acted in a predictable way, always the same orbits. Until some time ago something unexpected happened — another planet entered the Earth’s orbit.
Imagine swimming in a salty ocean deep beneath the icy shell of a moon. There are geothermal vents around you, and they provide the energy tiny microbes need to survive. Or exploring a moon covered in rivers of methane and ethane, where life could be hiding in the depths of craters. The point is — we may not need to leave our own Solar System to look for any sign of life outside of Earth.
Betelgeuse. A red supergiant. This ball of boiling plasma is one of the largest stars in our galaxy and one of the brightest. It’s about 500 times larger than the Sun. But Betelgeuse is pulsating, getting bigger and smaller. At its peak, it becomes 800 times its average size. If this star were a bucket, it would fit about 300 million Suns — even though its weight is only 17 times greater.And here, about 500 light-years away, is Earth. We launch our faster-than-light spaceship and set off on our journey to Betelgeuse. A few seconds, and we’ve already traveled 240,000 miles [390,000 km] and are now close to the Moon. That’s 9.5 trips around the Earth. A traditional rocket-powered spacecraft would take 3 days to get here.
Attention! Attention! Residents of all countries and cities of the world! A massive asteroid is approaching the Earth. Now its speed is several times greater than the speed of sound, and each day it accelerates even more. Once it enters our solar system, it will fly past Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. The gravitational fields of these planets will also accelerate the asteroid. And our planet will be the final destination! A collision is inevitable. According to scientists, a meteorite the size of Mount Everest can destroy the entire planet. The disaster will happen in 350 days. There’s panic in the streets. People buy and build bunkers. Scientists and astronomers from all over the world were assembled to find a solution.
It’s normal for planets to be a bit tilted on the side. The Earth is tilted at a 23-degree angle. That’s why we have seasons. It’s summer when the part of the world where you are leans closer to the Sun. It works the opposite way, too — it’s winter when you lean away from it. But, Uranus is tilted more than normal. It lies at a 98-degree angle, which has a huge effect on its seasons. Each season on Uranus takes 21 years to play out. Something to think about next time we complain that winter lasts forever.
Well, looky here! You’re about to figure out what lies under the surface of each planet in the Solar System! Get into your spaceship equipped with the largest drill you can only imagine — and off you go! You start with Mercury. It’s the closest planet to the Sun. At first sight, the place looks similar to our good old Moon! But after landing, you understand it’s an illusion.
It’s only a matter of time before humans begin colonizing other planets, with NASA already wanting to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s. It’s safe to say that if we do start moving to other neighboring planets, we wouldn’t want to leave our 4-legged friends behind!We at Bright Side decided to get a little creative and imagine what our pets would look like if they adapted to the environments of other planets in our solar system. Here is what we came up with.
As we all know, living basically anywhere besides Earth in our solar system would be near-impossible. However, that doesn’t stop some researchers from imagining what life on other planets would be like if and when we colonize space. So, let’s forget about that for a moment and assume that we have the capabilities to do so and that no danger is real for us.
Stephen Hawking once said that we only have 100 more years before we move to space. That’s a rather tight deadline because — let’s admit it — we’d have some trouble surviving in space. Even astronauts, who only spend a few hours out there, often face health problems upon returning. Most of the planets in the universe are impossible for us earthlings to live on. In fact, we’d have to evolve ourselves, like with our vision, our breathing, and our vestibular system, almost entirely, to do it. But let’s give it a try.
One father was looking for fun trivia to feed his 4-year-old daughter’s thirst for knowledge, and decided to turn to folks on Reddit. We’re not sure he expected such an overwhelming response, but so many people shared their favorite facts that we even got lost in all the comments!
On May 7, the universe bestowed us with a Pink Moon that excited all of the stargazers among us. If you didn’t get a chance to observe this spectacular phenomenon, 2020 has a lot more of these celestial events to look forward to.
Sometimes it seems that you’ve seen so much in this life that nothing will be able to surprise you ever again. And then you accidentally overheard someone mention something amazing, like the fact that hippopotamus milk is actually pink. That’s right.
It’s impossible to imagine life on our planet without the Sun. We’ve all seen how incredible sunrise and sunset can be — it’s something you just can’t tear your eyes away from. But have you ever tried to imagine what this might look like from the vantage point of different planets and moons in our solar system? The digital illustrations made by Ron Miller, who has spent decades depicting the vistas beyond our world, can help us here. We at Bright Side invite you on an interplanetary tour to see what dawn looks like on other worlds.