week 8/space/alice nakata

Space, to me, seems a little frightening to me because it seems so easy to just die out there. The black hole is intimidating also, with its suction and the road to nowhere. But the interesting facts and phenomena that only happens in space made it a little less frightening place.

One fact that is interesting to me is that the Sun is losing up to a billion kg per second due to solar winds. Also, 1 pinhead of the Sun’s energy can kill a person at a distance of 160 kilometers. And speaking of kilometers, our galaxy (the Milky Way) is spinning at 225km per second. On top of the spinning, the Milky Way is traveling through space at about 330 km per second. When we drive the freeway at speed limit of 65 mph, we are going at about 100km/min. So if we are traveling 330 km per second, that’s over 180 times faster than the freeways speed limit!

The phenomena of liquid turning into spheres is amazing also. Because there is no gravity in space, surface tension shapes water into spheres. Magnetic-like molecules on water’s surface cause the surface to act like an elastic skin. Each molecule is pulled with equal tension by its neighbors. The tight-knit group forms the smallest possible area, which is a sphere.

Another interesting phenomenon is the cold welding. In space, when you put 2 pieces of metal together, they become stuck, or welded, forever.


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