Space Facts to Wow Your Friends!
Professor Astro Cat is the smartest cat in the alley, with a degree in just about anything under the sun, so who better to tell you all about the stars, planets, the solar system, galaxy and the Universe. If this whets your appetite, take yourself right to the frontiers of space in his book or blast off and discover more in our app now!
The International Space Station
The International Space Station (ISS) was built by the American, European, Russian, Japanese and Canadian space agencies all working together to make the largest space station ever! Astronauts have been living on board since June 2012 and while onboard they can perform experiments in zero gravity to learn how we might be able to survive in space.
Asteroids and Comets
Asteroids and comets are the big lumps of rock and ice that float around space, leftover from planet formation. Asteroids can be found in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter. Comets usually come from the Kuiper belt right at the edge of the solar system. Scientists and astronomers are always looking out for asteroids and comets heading towards Earth, but luckily most are very small and burn up in the atmosphere before they even come close.
Neptune got its name because of its striking blue colour. It’s the furthest gas planet from the Sun and the last big object before the depths of interstellar space. It is an ice giant, very similar to Uranus. Because it’s so far away, it takes Neptune 165 Earth years to get around the Sun.
Animals in Space
Space agencies started sending animals into space to find out if it might be possible for humans to survive. The first animals in space were fruit flies in 1947. The first primate in space was a rhesus monkey called Albert II launched into space by NASA in June 1949. The first animal to make a full orbit of Earth was a stray dog from the streets of Moscow called Laika, in 1957. Sadly these poor animals didn’t survive, but these experiments allowed scientists to see the effects of space on animals.
Venus is like the Earth’s evil twin. Though similar in size and weight to our planet, it doesn’t have quite the same conditions! For a start, it is very hot, with a surface temperature of an incredible 460 degrees Celsius (860 degrees Fahrenheit). The atmosphere is made of thick carbon dioxide and when it rains, it rains sulphuric acid! Worse yet, the pressure of the atmosphere is so great that it would feel like you were a kilometre under the sea, being crushed on all sides. Definitely not the place for a space holiday!
To discover even more fascinating facts and test your knowledge in awesome jetpack challenges, download the app Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System now!