Space is super weird. It smells funny, it’s full of odd shapes, and it’s much more gross than you could have ever imagined. There are so many surprising facts about outer space that just seem made up, like the fact that it smells like raspberries, or that Saturn’s rings disappear. As weird as that space trivia sounds, it’s 100% true. Historical theories about space are absolutely bonkers, but as bananas as they sound, they’re not far off from some of the surprising space facts that you’ll find on this round up of super weird ephemera about the solar system.
Outer space is super creepy. It’s an empty expanse of dust, gaseous beings, and dead satellites floating in their own graveyards. You may find many of the following space facts to be awe inspiring, but there are a few pieces of knowledge on here that will definitely make you change your mind about booking a ticket to Mars any time soon. Unless you like the idea of midnight ice bursts and the possibility of suffocating in your sleep.
The Middle Of The Universe Tastes Like Raspberries And Smells Like Rum
If space were to have a smell, what do you think it would be? If you answered anything but raspberries, you're wrong. In 2009, researchers studying Sagittarius B2, a dust cloud in the middle of the galaxy, discovered the existence of ethyl formate. Ethyl formate occurs naturally in bees and ants, and its used in a lot of manufacturing. But that's not the super weird thing. Ethyl formate is what gives raspberries their unique flavor and it smells like rum. Arnaud Belloche, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn and professional wet blanket told The Guardian, "It does happen to give raspberries their flavor, but there are many other molecules that are needed to make space raspberries."
There's A Giant Swirling Hexagon On Saturn
Have you looked at Saturn recently? If not, then you definitely haven't noticed the giant swirling hexagon decorating the planet's north pole. Is it a sign from Saturn's natives warning us that they have a large geometric shape at their disposal and plan to use it at will? Is it a portal to another dimension? Are scientists just imagining the hexagon? The hexagon cloud was first discovered in 1988. Scientists know it's 20,000 miles wide and is about 60 miles deep, but what is it? The science community thinks it has something to do with a jet stream air current that flows upward on the edges of the hexagon, but that's about all they know.
If Two Pieces of The Same Type Of Metal Touch In Space, They'll Be Permanently Welded Together
It's rare that something is so weird, terrifying, and cool at the same time, but the concept of cold welding manages to be one of the most confounding things about space. Cold welding, also know as contact welding, occurs in vacuums when the atoms of different items touch and because the atoms don't realize that they belong to different pieces of metal, they actually stick together forever. You can technically accomplish this on earth, but you would need to construct a vacuum with a super clean room and use tools coated to prevent them from sticking to whatever you're working on.
99% Of Our Solar System’s Mass Is The Sun
Defining the weight of the solar system, a complex and amorphous expanse of matter, is almost impossible. Planets, moons, and stars aren't weighed by their weight, but instead their weight is determined by their gravitational force. For instance, the Earth weighs 5.972 x 10^24 kg. That's a lot of kilograms! But it's still nowhere near as close as the sun, which makes up 99% of all the mass in the Solar System. The core of the sun is a dense collection made up of hydrogen, helium, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen all swirling together in one massive nuclear fusion.