Space really is still very much a mystery.
It’s big, it’s dark and it’s cold. Despite it’s massive size, however, we still haven’t found any concrete evidence of alien life. But astronomers have discovered many other mind-blowing things about the ever-expanding universe we live in. And trust us, they will make you question everything you thought you knew about the final frontier.
10 facts that prove space is the craziest place ever
Pluto has a beating heartWhen NASA's New Horizons spacecraft whipped by Pluto last summer, it discovered a heart-shaped structure on the surface of the dwarf planet. Strangely, that structure also functions just like a real human heart which, in a sense, helps keep the planet alive. The 900,000 square kilometre area is called Sputnik Planum, and feautres reservoirs below its surface filled with glaciers of frozen gases. When this ice is warmed by Pluto's internal heat, it bubbles to the surface in blobs--much like the pumping of blood in the human body. This liquid then refreezes once it hits the colder exterior, helping to restore the surface of the planet. NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute
Venus has aggressive 'electrical winds'Scientists believe that Venus was once home to massive oceans but that they dried up due to the intense heat the planet experiences. But once all that water turned to steam, an intense electrical field that surrounds Venus essentially zapped the remaining liquid molecules outside of its atmosphere. Earth also has an electrical field, but it is about five times weaker than that of its neighbour closer to the sun.Getty
You can swim in methaneWhile most humans know of methane as a smelly gas we expel when we fart, it can actually exist in liquid form as well. In fact, there are entire lakes and seas of methane on Saturn's moon Titan. Which means, in theory, you could swim in it (although we wouldn't recommend that). Titan is also the only world in our solar system that has stable liquid on its surface, according to NASA.Getty
Comets are boozehoundsEver wonder how aliens get their party on? NASA recently observed comet Lovejoy (that's actually its name) spewing sugar and as much alcohol as in "at least 500 bottles of wine every second," into space. How is that possible, you ask? Because comets are basically frozen blocks of ice hurtling through space, they heat up and release gases when they pass nearby stars—in the form of booze and sugar in this instance. Getty Images
The centre of our galaxy smells like rum and tastes like raspberriesWe wouldn't recommend trying to taste the galaxy though, because, chances, are it would kill you. The reason astronomers believe there are pleasant smells and tastes in the centre of the Milky Way is because they discovered the presence of ethyl formate (the dominant flavour in raspberries and an important one in rum) in a dust cloud located there. Smell don't taste.ThinkStock
We live next door to a super-massive black holeRemember what we said about not trying to taste the galaxy? This is why: You know how Earth orbits the sun? Well, it turns out the sun orbits a super-massive black hole called Sagittarius A* that lives in the centre of our galaxy. Don't worry about getting sucked in by ol' Sag though, we're still too far away.Getty Images
On Pluto, you can walk on airAnd we don't mean "walk" in the zero-gravity astronaut sense. On Pluto, and in many areas in space, it's so cold that air actually freezes into a solid. It's believed the entire surface of Pluto is coated in a layer of frozen gas, so if you were to walk on the planet today, you would literally be walking on air. ThinkStock
Earth may be the most advanced civilizationBased on a study published earlier this year by the Royal Astronomical Society, 92 per cent of Earth-like planets haven't formed yet. ("Earth-like" refers to planets with things like water, an atmosphere and relatively close proximity to a star.) So if life as we understand it can only exist on these planets, and most haven't formed yet, that would suggest humans have had more time than others to construct and advance our civilization. Go team!NASA
Mars will eventually have a ring like SaturnMars is about to get hitched: Its largest moon, Phobos, is being pulled apart by the planet's gravitational pull. Astronomers believe this will result either in Phobos colliding directly into Mars (not so likely) or cracking up into small pieces and eventually forming a ring system around the planet (more likely). Don't worry though, it'll take 20 to 40 million years to complete.Getty Images
The sun will consume the Earth in about five-billion yearsSorry to be a downer, but Earth is only destined to exist for so long. Because the sun is essentially the biggest ongoing explosion you'll ever see, it will eventually run out of fuel, die out and turn into a black hole. Before that happens though, it will enter something called the "red giant phase," where it will swell so large it will engulf all of the inner planets in our solar system. Yikes!Getty Images
When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft whipped by Pluto last summer, it discovered a heart-shaped structure on the surface of the dwarf planet (it’s on the bottom right of the image). Strangely, that structure also functions just like a real human heart which, in a sense, helps keep the planet alive. The 900,000 square kilometre area is called Sputnik Planum, and features reservoirs below its surface filled with glaciers of frozen gases. When this ice is warmed by Pluto’s internal heat, it bubbles to the surface in blobs–much like the pumping of blood in the human body. This liquid then refreezes once it hits the colder exterior, helping to restore the surface of the planet.