Deep Space Travel

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The only picture we have taken of a black hole
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Image of a neutron star
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Our solar system

What do we already know about space?

Space is large, like unimaginably large. It's simply not possible to fathom the vastness of space. To begin to understand what space is and how it works, it is important to understand the center of every solar system, stars. Humans see stars as pretty lights in the sky, but stars our sun included are the reason life is possible here on Earth. The sun provides Earth with nearly all of its energy, a small portion coming from geothermal energy. This energy allowed life to come about and allows life to evolve over billions of years. The sun or all stars rather play another very important role in space, being they have produced and will produce all naturally occurring elements. This process is very complex but boils down to three basic steps. First a star must be created and hydrogen atoms begin to fuse releasing huge amounts of energy. Eventually the star runs out of hydrogen and expands until the cores gravity forces the star to collapse in on itself creating a supernova. What remains is now called a neutron star, these are very dense. So dense that the atoms forming it are compressed into an atomic soup. It is in this ‘soup’ that new and heavier elements can be created. Now that a basic understanding of where things come from has been established it is time to move to the basic planets. There are two basic types of planets, terrestrial and gas giants. Terrestrial planets have a rocky crust and active terrestrial planets have a molten core, many scientists believe life is only possible on active planets. Gas planets are typically much larger than terrestrial plants, however with no crust to stand on life is not possible on these planets. Now the basics of the solar system have been covered, it is time to look at the galaxy as a whole. At the center of the Milky Way Galaxy lies a supermassive black hole. Black holes are one of the most unique things in the universe but rather than try to explain them a video will be linked.