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10 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Space

10 Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know About Space

Compiled below are 10 facts that completely blew our minds when we read them. It’s hard to believe how massive our galaxy is and how much of it we don’t yet understand. Space is a fascinating place that we are continuing to learn more and more about. What’s great is when we learn things about our galaxy that almost seem unbelievable at first.

1. The Largest Star

The largest star discovered by mankind so far is called UY Scuti, and according to The Daily Research, if it were to replace the sun, it would engulf everything in our galaxy up to Saturn! Although a number of sources claim stars like VY Canis Majoris are the largest, there are actually 7 discovered stars that are known to be bigger than VY Canis Majoris. Here is a video showing how small our planet is compared to VY Canis Majoris, the largest star known at the time of the video.

2. Methane Rain On Titan

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, rains down liquid methane onto its surface. It gets cold enough on Titan’s surface to condense the methane gas into a liquid where it pours down much like the rain cycle that we have on Earth.

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3. Winter Is Coming

The north and south poles on Uranus go through light and dark cycles that span 42 years long, according to Universe Today. This means the south pole will experience 42 straight years of constant daylight, followed by 42 straight years of constant darkness. Talk about a long winter.

4. Space Is Not Empty

Unlike what most people believe, space isn’t a total vacuum. On average, there are roughly 3 atoms found in 1 cubic metre of space. Scattered atoms are floating around everywhere in space. This is caused by the violent nature of how stars, planets, comets, and other formations collide and interact with each other, spewing out articles across the entire universe.

5. The Sun Isn’t Special

Our Sun is just like any other star out there. In fact, it is pretty unimpressive when you stack it up against some of the giants out there. VY Canis Majoris, for example, makes our Sun look like a small pebble when you place them next to each other at scale.

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What’s surprising is that only 55% of people that live in America know this. The other 45% of Americans do not know that the sun is a star, according to the 1989 edition of Uncle John’s Second Bathroom Reader.

6. Jupiter Has Over 67 Moons

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, has over 67 moons. We say “over 67” because we can only count the moons that we have found so far. Astronomers believe there are many more undiscovered moons revolving around the gas giant that we haven’t discovered yet.

7. Saturn Would Float

If you placed Saturn in a giant tub of water, it would actually float on top of it. Saturn is mostly made up of gasses. This means it is less dense than liquid water and would float on top of it in this fictional scenario.

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8. Dark Matter And Dark Energy

Only a small portion of our universe is made up of the matter that we can recognize. About 25% of the content of our universe is made up of dark matter and 70% is made up of dark energy.

Dark matter and dark energy are terms that astronomers use to describe unidentifiable matter and energy. They are not yet able to observe it directly, but they can use indirect methods to determine it is there.

9. Our Nearest Black Hole

The nearest known black hole to us is about 1,600 light years away from Earth. It may sound like a lot at first, but it is not very far on the grand scale of things. If you scale it down to a football field, the black hole would only be 1.5 yards away from you.

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10. Pluto Is Not A Planet

This was debated for years. Many thought Pluto should no longer be recognized as a planet due to its size. Finally, the community came to an agreement and declared that Pluto was not a planet. Instead, they now refer to it as a dwarf planet.

Featured photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via flickr.com

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Josh MacDonald

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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