Fun Space Facts

February 12th, 2013 posted by Janet Heller

Whether it’s Astronomy Day, Space Day or just any old day, these fun space facts are a great way to discuss a little science with your kids.

Basic facts about Moon Day (July 20) and World Astronomy Day (May 10)

  • Thirty-five years ago astronaut Neil Armstrong did something no one had ever done before. On July 20, 1969, he set foot on the moon. People around the world watched and listened as Neil slowly climbed down the ladder of the lunar lander. Then, he stepped on the moon’s surface where he could look up and see Earth far above him. There he said these well-known words, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”
  • Neil Armstrong was the first astronaut to step on the moon. Buzz Aldrin soon joined him. The two astronauts spent 21 hours on the moon. They did experiments and took pictures. They also brought back 46 pounds of moon rocks.
  • The Apollo missions revolutionized the understanding of the moon. Much of the knowledge gained about the moon also applies to Earth and the other inner planets — Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Scientists learned, for example, that impact is a fundamental geological process operating on the planets and their satellites.

How the moon is an important part of Native American Culture

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year.

Comet and space fun facts

  • Comets are small Solar System bodies that orbit the Sun and, when close enough to the Sun, exhibit a visible coma (or atmosphere) and/or a tail – both primarily from the effects of solar radiation upon the comet’s nucleus
  • Comets have a variety of different orbital periods, ranging from a few years, to hundreds of thousands of years, while some are believed to pass through the inner Solar System only once before being thrown out into interstellar space.
  • The word “comet” came to the English language through Latin cometes from the Greek word kome, meaning “hair of the head”; Aristotle first used the derivation kometes to depict comets as “stars with hair.”
  • Before the invention of the telescope, comets seemed to appear out of nowhere in the sky and gradually vanish out of sight. They were usually considered bad omens of deaths of kings or noble men, or coming catastrophes, or even interpreted as attacks by heavenly beings against terrestrial inhabitants.
  • There only 8 planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune – Pluto is no longer a planet!
  • The Sun: Like all the other planets in our Solar System, the Earth revolves around a medium-sized star. This star provides all the energy necessary to sustain life on Earth.
  • Mercury: In astronomy mythology, Mercury was the Roman version of the god Hermes. He was the messenger for the other gods, and for this reason Mercury is often depicted in pictures with winged sandals. In addition to delivering messages, he was also the protector of travelers, and merchants.
  • Venus: In astronomy mythology, Venus was the Roman goddess of love and beauty. In Greek her name was Aphrodite.
  • Earth: In astronomy mythology, Her Greek name was Gaea. Earth was the mother of the mountains, valleys, streams and all other land formations. She was married to Uranus.
  • Mars: In astronomy mythology, Mars was the Roman god of war and agriculture. It may not seem like these two things go together, but they do. Mars protected those who fought for their communities, and stayed home to raise crops for food.
  • Jupiter: In astronomy mythology, Jupiter known as Zeus in Greece over threw his father Saturn to become king of the gods. He then split the Universe with his brothers Neptune and Pluto.
  • Saturn: In astronomy mythology, Saturn was the god of agriculture, he was called Cronus by the Greeks. He is the son of Uranus, and father of Jupiter. Saturn over threw his father to become king of the gods, but was then over thrown himself by his son Jupiter.
  • Uranus: In astronomy mythology, Uranus was the lord of the skies and husband of Earth. He was also the king of the gods until his son Saturn overthrew him.
  • Neptune: In astronomy mythology, Neptune was originally only the god of water, but was later extended to the ocean when he became associated with the Greek god Poseidon.

Janet Heller (1 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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