The Outer space Portal

Introduction

Because of the hazards of a vacuum, astronauts must wear a pressurized space suit while off-Earth and outside their spacecraft.
Because of the hazards of a vacuum, astronauts must wear a pressurized space suit while off-Earth and outside their spacecraft.
The interface between the Earth's surface and outer space. The Kármán line at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) is shown. The layers of the atmosphere are drawn to scale, whereas objects within them, such as the International Space Station, are not.
The interface between the Earth's surface and outer space. The Kármán line at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) is shown. The layers of the atmosphere are drawn to scale, whereas objects within them, such as the International Space Station, are not.

Outer space, commonly shortened to space, is the expanse that exists beyond Earth and its atmosphere and between celestial bodies. Outer space is not completely empty—it is a near-perfect vacuum containing a low density of particles, predominantly a plasma of hydrogen and helium, as well as electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, neutrinos, dust, and cosmic rays. The baseline temperature of outer space, as set by the background radiation from the Big Bang, is 2.7 kelvins (−270 °C; −455 °F).

The plasma between galaxies is thought to account for about half of the baryonic (ordinary) matter in the universe, having a number density of less than one hydrogen atom per cubic metre and a kinetic temperature of millions of kelvins. Local concentrations of matter have condensed into stars and galaxies. Intergalactic space takes up most of the volume of the universe, but even galaxies and star systems consist almost entirely of empty space. Most of the remaining mass-energy in the observable universe is made up of an unknown form, dubbed dark matter and dark energy.

Outer space does not begin at a definite altitude above the Earth's surface. The Kármán line, an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) above sea level, is conventionally used as the start of outer space in space treaties and for aerospace records keeping. Certain portions of the upper stratosphere and the mesosphere are also sometimes referred to as "near space". The framework for international space law was established by the Outer Space Treaty, which entered into force on 10 October 1967. This treaty precludes any claims of national sovereignty and permits all states to freely explore outer space. Despite the drafting of UN resolutions for the peaceful uses of outer space, anti-satellite weapons have been tested in Earth orbit.

Humans began the physical exploration of space during the 20th century with the advent of high-altitude balloon flights. This was followed by crewed rocket flights and, then, crewed Earth orbit, first achieved by Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union in 1961. Due to the high cost of getting into space, human spaceflight has been limited to low Earth orbit and the Moon. On the other hand, uncrewed spacecraft have reached all of the known planets in the Solar System. Outer space represents a challenging environment for human exploration because of the hazards of vacuum and radiation. Microgravity also has a negative effect on human physiology that causes both muscle atrophy and bone loss. In addition to these health and environmental issues, the economic cost of putting objects, including humans, into space is very high. (Full article...)

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A planet is a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals. The planets were originally seen as a divine presence; as emissaries of the gods. As scientific knowledge advanced, the human perception of the planets changed over time, incorporating a number of disparate objects. On 24 August 2006, the IAU officially adopted a resolution defining planets within the Solar System. Copernicus suggested that the planets orbited the Sun, and this view was supported by Galileo after the development of the telescope. By careful analysis of the observation data, Johannes Kepler found their orbits to be not circular, but elliptical. Since 1992, through the discovery of hundreds of extrasolar planets, scientists are beginning to observe similar features throughout the Milky Way Galaxy. Planets are generally divided into two main types: large, low-density gas giants and smaller, rocky terrestrials. As of 1 January 2023, 5,297 known extrasolar planets (in 3,904 planetary systems and 850 multiple planetary systems) are listed in the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia, ranging from the size of gas giants to that of terrestrial planets. Additionally, the IAU accepts five dwarf planets: Ceres, Pluto (originally classified as the Solar System's ninth planet), Makemake, Haumea and Eris. No extrasolar dwarf planets have been detected.

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