Our wonderful planet Earth

  •  We all know that earth is a sphere, three-fourths of it is covered with water; it is the only planet in the universe which is known to have life. We have grown up reading these facts in our schools and they are no longer interesting for us. But there are a number of other amazing realities about our planet that we do not know.
  • What are they? Have a look.
  • Rocks on earth can grow and float.
  • Moon was much closer to earth a billion years ago.
  • It took 20 days to make a month and days were just 18 hours long.
  • Moon is moving away from Earth at the rate of 1.6 inches a year.
  • Earth is gradually slowing down. Every few years, an extra second is added to make up for lost time.
  • Earth’s inside is fluid and is moving the same way as tornados and hurricanes.
  • Our planet is more than 4.5 billion years old, just a shade younger than the Sun.
  • On an average over a hundred lightening strikes occur worldwide every second.
  • The Antarctic Ice Sheet holds nearly 90 percent of the world’s ice and 70 percent of its fresh water. If the entire ice sheet were to melt, sea level would rise by nearly 220 feet, or the height of a 20-story building.
  • Mt. Cotopaxi in Ecuador supports the only glacier on the equator.
  • The creosote bush, which grows in the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts, has been shown by radiocarbon dating to have lived since the birth of Christ.
  • About 400 billion gallons of water is used worldwide everyday.
  • Earth is the only planet in the Solar System not to be named after a mythical God.
  • From a distance in space, Earth seems to be the brightest of the 8 planets. This is because large amount of sunlight is reflected by the water on the planet.
  • Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System.
  • El Azizia (Libya) is the hottest place on Earth, while Vostok (Antarctica) is the coldest.
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest of Earth’s major oceans.
  • Hawaii is moving towards Japan at the speed of 10 cm a year.
  • The Persian Gulf is the warmest sea. In the summer its temperature reaches 35.6 degrees centigrade.
  • Louisiana loses about 30 square miles (78 square kilometers) of land each year to coastal erosion, hurricanes, other natural and human causes and a thing called subsidence, which means sinking.
  • The world’s deadliest recorded earthquake occurred in 1557 in central China. More than 830,000 people were killed.
  • About 540 volcanoes on land are known to have erupted in the past. 20-30 volcanoes erupt yearly, but mostly from under the sea.
  • Sunlight can penetrate clean ocean water to a depth of 240 feet.
  • Antarctica is the highest, driest, and coldest continent on Earth.
  • The blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus, is the largest known animal ever to have lived on sea or land.
  • The Peregrine Falcon around 200mph (320 km/h) is the fastest bird on the planet.
  • Water-meal or Wolffia globosa is the smallest flower in the world, it contains some 38 species of the smallest and simplest flowering plants.
  • The largest eggs in the world are laid by a shark.
  • A huge underground river runs underneath the Nile, with six times more water than the river above.
  • 80% of all life lives under the under the ocean’s surface.
  • 2 million pounds of space dust reaches Earth’s surface each year. Scientists think that this dust carries space microbes that give us flu.
  • Astronomers know that over the next few billion years, the Sun will swell to such an extent that it will envelop Earth.
  • So global warming is to occur anyways!

http://zeenews.india.com/EarthDay/story.aspx?aid=617762

10 Most Amazing Telescopes in the World

Today, humanity is reaching towards the stars and telescopes have a huge role in this quest.  Telescopes are becoming better and better and, as the years go by, they help scientists to make monumental discoveries. Here are the 10 most amazing telescopes in the world:

1. European Extremely Large Telescope

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With an estimated cost of 1, 17 billion, this is the most expensive telescope ever designed and will be ready in 2018. This telescope will be able to help astronomers make amazing discoveries, find entirely new solar systems and even discover the secrets behind the birth of the Universe.

2. Thirty Meter Telescope

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The name of this telescope comes from the 30 meters light collecting surface, making this amazing telescope, built with the help of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore (photo). It is believed that this telescope, which will be ready in 2016,  will have 12 times the resolution of the world-known Hubble, and 8 times more powerful than the telescopes which are currently functioning.

3. Giant Magellan Telescope

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This is one of the greatest telescopes in the world and it is composed of 8 mirrors that capture amazing images, reducing the atmospheric distortion, which affects the image quality of so many other telescopes, to zero.  It cost 500 million dollars and is based in Chile.

4.  Chandra X Ray Observatory

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Chandra is the most advanced X-ray telescope in the world and is ultra-sensitive, being able to record even the smallest particles, as they disappear into black holes.

5.  Hubble

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Famous Hubble could not miss from this list! Following a concept which was invented by N. Cassegrain in 1672, and criticized by Newton for its design, Hubble is now up in the sky, orbiting the Earth as a satellite- telescope. Over the years, it helped scientists to make great discoveries, such as the dark matter.

6. Large Binocular Telescope

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Standing in Arizona, this huge two-part telescope is said to be the most powerful in the world. It is built upon a totally innovative concept. When it will become fully operational the astronomers believe that this system will allow them to discover many more stars, far beyond our own galaxy.

7. Very Large Telescope

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The very large telescope is occupying a leveled mountain, in Chile. It is formed by a system of 4 telescopes, of which one is the main telescope, said to be able to capture 4 billion times fainter stars than we are able to see and is backed up by the other three smaller telescopes, for even more powerful perception.

8. Great Canary Telescope

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Great Canary Telescope is located in the island with the same name, on mount La Palma. It cost 180,000$ to build but it certainly does the job it was designed to do and , what’s more, it is supposed to be the largest telescope in the world.

9. Keck observatory

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This observatory is located on top of Mauna Kea, in Hawaii, at an altitude of 4,267 meters. The two amazing telescopes that help astronomers understand better the many mysteries of  the space have 300 tons each and are 8-story tall.

10. Southern African Large Telescope

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The size of its mirror, which is the more important element of a telescope, makes the Southern African telescope one of the greatest in the world. SALT is able to see not only far away galaxies, but even quasars (huge black holes) in places where humans will probably never go. It may “see” stars one billion times better than we can.

 

source :Curiosity.com from Discovery