• Question: What is the most interesting/cool fact you know???

    Asked by 957spah27 to Hannah, Lucy, Phil, Rochelle, Stephen on 8 Mar 2017.
    • Photo: Phil Sutton

      Phil Sutton answered on 8 Mar 2017:

      When a star larger than our Sun comes to the end of its life it collapses down under its own gravity into a neutron star. A star may rotate on its axis once every day or more (the Sun rotates once every 26 days). The star would collapse from a size of a few hundred thousand kilometers to 20km.

      Energy can not be created or destroyed but it can be conserved. Therefore as it shrinks to this new smaller size it must rotate much faster. We have found such stars that rotate over 700 times a second!

      As the neutron star has been squashed down so much one teaspoon of this star would have a mass 5,500,000,000,000kg.

    • Photo: Lucy Kissick

      Lucy Kissick answered on 9 Mar 2017:

      Wow, what a question! There are so many, but here’s one from Mars that blew me away: Back when Mars was starting to freeze over, frozen ground at the surface pressured water that remained liquid deeper underground. Eventually this water was under so much pressure that it burst explosively to the surface: it broke through the rock and erupted as great geysers probably hundreds of metres high! Vast underground reservoirs of water upended themselves like this in the largest floods in the solar system, so big that the scoured floodplains we still see on the surface are several times longer than the length of Britain.

      But since this is a technically an interpretation not a hard-tested fact, my favourite solid fact is that the milk of a humpback whale is 50% fat and has the consistency of toothpaste. You’re welcome.

    • Photo: Hannah Sargeant

      Hannah Sargeant answered on 12 Mar 2017:

      my favourite fact is that time actually moves slower for people in space! Einstein had an idea that time moves differently when you are moving at different speeds. This means that astronauts in space who are travelling at really fast speeds are actually a little a bit younger than their friends on Earth when they come home. It’s a very odd thing! If you have seen the film Interstellar the same thing happens but on a much bigger scale!