“There is as many atoms in a single molecule of your DNA as there are stars in the typical galaxy. We are, each of us, a little universe.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Space and Galaxy have always mesmerised and at the same time boggled human mind. Let us first understand what is SPACE?
Space is considered a Vacuum; it doesn’t have temperature. Some areas of Space can be completely frigid as -460 Fahrenheit depending on their distance from a star! According to Wikipedia, Galaxy is a system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, dark matter, bound together by gravity. The word is derived from the Greek galaxias, literally meaning ‘milky’, also called the Milky Way. Galaxy contains the Solar System. Galaxies are averaging an estimated 100 million stars and are held by gravity. Space is a general term used to depict where celestial bodies are found. Till now Scientists have not been able to ascertain about existence of life in the miraculous SPACE. Many Spaceships have been sent by Super powers and others but the mystery about life somewhere amongst the stars is still a MYSTERY! Editor
FROM THE AUTHOR’S DESK
LET US UNDERSTAND ALL ABOUT ‘SPACE’.
“As I look up at the night sky, gazing at the countless stars that twinkle above me, I can’t help but wonder what the mystery up there is? Such beautiful and twinkling streaks of light fascinate me every day. The shining armour of moon and small little stars trying to make different shapes creating fascinating view in the sky.
I am looking past the moon; I am reaching for the stars…
This journey of guiding and showing the way shall continue…
Yes, what I am referring to here is Space and its vast plethora of mystical celestial objects in the sky. The fascination of space and it’s boundless horizon has always been a mystery for humankind. Children have always been fascinated with the concept of time and space. Even at Manav Rachna International School, we focus on building inquisitiveness in children to explore such vastness of space through various experiential modes of learning.
Let’s get to understand the space in detail…..
What is space?
Space, also referred to as outer space is the area outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Space begins at the Karman line, which is about 100 km above the earth. Space is completely black with no air to scatter sunlight. Space can be defined in different ways depending on the context. In physics and astronomy, space typically refers to the three-dimensional expanse in which all matter exists, and includes both the observable universe and any other theoretical or hypothetical dimensions beyond our current understanding. Space is often considered to be continuous and infinite, although this remains a topic of ongoing research and debate in theoretical physics.
What is in space ?
Space contains a variety of objects and phenomena, including:
- Stars and galaxies: These are vast collections of gas, dust, and billions of stars bound together by gravity.
- Planets and other celestial bodies: These are objects that orbit around stars, including planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.
- Interstellar medium: This is the matter and radiation that exists in the space between stars, including gas, dust, and cosmic rays.
- Dark matter: This is a hypothetical form of matter that is believed to make up a significant portion of the total matter in the universe, but does not interact with light or other forms of electromagnetic radiation.
- Radiation: This includes various forms of energy that travel through space, including light, radio waves, and cosmic rays.
- Black holes: These are extremely dense objects that are formed when a massive star collapses on itself, creating a region of space with gravitational forces so strong that nothing can escape it.
- Dark energy: This is another hypothetical form of energy that is believed to be responsible for the observed acceleration of the expansion of the universe.
As we continue to explore the vast expanse of the universe, one of the most intriguing concepts which have fascinated scientists for decades, let’s focus now on the conditions required for an organism to survive in space.
Conditions for survival in space
As Albert Einstein quoted “Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.”
Surviving in space is extremely challenging for organisms due to the extreme conditions that exist outside of Earth’s atmosphere, such as vacuum, extreme temperatures, high radiation, and microgravity. However, certain organisms are known to be capable of surviving these conditions for a limited amount of time.
To survive in space, an organism would need to be able to withstand:
- a) Vacuum: Space is a vacuum, meaning there is no air or pressure, so an organism would need to be able to survive without oxygen and be able to withstand changes in pressure.
- b) Extreme temperatures: Temperatures in space can range from hundreds of degrees Celsius in sunlight to hundreds of degrees below zero in shadow. An organism would need to be able to survive these extreme temperature fluctuations.
- c) Radiation: The high levels of radiation in space can be deadly for most organisms, so an organism would need to be able to withstand and repair damage caused by radiation.
- d) Microgravity: In space, there is no gravity or a very low level of gravity, so an organism would need to be able to survive and function in this environment.
- e) Lack of nutrients: Space is devoid of nutrients required for life, so an organism would need to be able to survive without a regular source of food and water.
Despite the challenges, there have been several studies conducted which focus on whether life is possible in outer space or not.
Some extremophiles, such as certain types of bacteria, algae, and fungi, have been shown to survive under some of these conditions for a limited amount of time, but sustaining life in space for an extended period of time would require the development of specialized equipment and technologies. Current space missions are focused on studying the effects of space on various organisms, including humans, to better understand how life can adapt to these extreme conditions.
In addition, there have been some experiments that have demonstrated that certain microorganisms can survive exposure to the vacuum of space and cosmic radiation. These experiments were conducted using samples of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that were placed on the exterior of spacecraft and exposed to the harsh conditions of space for varying lengths of time.
While the possibility of life surviving in space cannot be completely ruled out, it is important to note that the conditions required for life to survive and thrive are extremely specific, and it is unlikely that life as we know it could exist outside of Earth without significant adaptations.
Space and Children
At Manav Rachna International School, Space learning is a fascinating and inspiring topic for children and teachers bring out the educational resources available to help children learn about space.
Some potential benefits of space learning for children include:
- Encouraging curiosity and a love of learning: Space is a concept that can capture the imagination of children and inspire them to explore and learn more.
- Developing critical thinking skills: Learning about space can help children develop critical thinking skills by asking questions, analysing data, and making connections between different concepts.
- Promoting STEM education: Space learning can help promote STEM education by introducing children to concepts in science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Providing opportunities for creativity and innovation: Space exploration is a field that requires creativity and innovation, and learning about space can inspire children to think creatively and develop new ideas.
- Fostering global awareness: Space exploration is a global endeavour, and learning about space can help children develop an understanding of different cultures and perspectives from around the world.
There are many resources available for children to learn about space, including books, videos, online courses, and educational programs offered by museums and science centres. Encouraging children to explore space learning can be a great way to inspire their curiosity, stimulate their minds, and help them develop a lifelong love of learning which is the focus at this BEST SCHOOL IN MOHALI.
“The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine.” – J.B.S. Haldane
In conclusion, space is a vast and mysterious expanse that has captivated the human imagination for centuries. From stars and galaxies to planets and asteroids, space contains a wide range of objects and phenomena that continue to be studied and explored by scientists and researchers around the world. Although surviving in space is extremely challenging, it is also a topic that can inspire curiosity, critical thinking, and innovation in both children and adults. We, at Manav Rachna International School, believes in inculcating critical thinking and inquisitiveness in our children. With ongoing advancements in technology and space exploration, we are continually learning more about the mysteries of space, and it is an exciting time to be involved in this field. As we continue to explore and learn about space, we may gain new insights into the origins of the universe, the possibility of extra-terrestrial life, and the potential for future space exploration and colonization.
Author: Monika Lakra, PGT Biology, Manav Rachna International School, Mohali.