Discovery Channel ‘proves’ space is ‘much closer’ to Filipinos than we think
Simply admiring the blue skyline or star-gazing into the night sky, anyone would always wonder about the mysteries beyond the Earth’s atmosphere – of outer space, planets, the sun, and the Milky Way.
Filipinos have witnessed the rare total solar eclipse and so-called Supermoon in the past years. But Discovery Channel has revealed lesser-known happenings in the universe that would electrify local astrophiles and science buffs.
In celebration of the annual World Space Week, Discovery Channel shared five facts to prove that the outer space is “much closer” to Filipinos:
- Asteroids aren’t the only things that hit earth. Early this year, the Philippines witnessed the first meteor shower visible to the country called “quadrantids,” which was said to produce up to 40 meteors or falling stars per hour. Those quadrantids are just some of the more than 100 tons of material from asteroids and comets which fall into the earth every day. But as these materials drop to the planet, some are not destroyed by friction, and passes through the atmosphere, which later becomes the falling stars and meteors humans see.
- Solar storm. According to the Discovery Channel, solar storms occur when the sun emits huge bursts of energy in the form of solar flares and coronal mass ejections. This event produces a stream of electrically-charged plasma that travel at millions of miles per hour, reaching the planet. In March 2015, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recorded locally a G4-level storm.
- Total solar eclipses won’t be around forever. Scientists have predicted that in about 600 million years, there will no longer be any total solar eclipses due to the moon’s increasing orbit of 1.5 inches annually. Last year, the Philippines was among the many the nations worldwide that witnessed the biggest and brightest “Supermoon”, which cruised by at a distance of 356,621.611 kilometers, the closest it has passed the earth since 1948.
- Space is not that far away. Did you know that you could be in space in less than an hour if you drive your car upwards, with a distance similar to a road trip from Manila to Nueva Ecija? The Discovery Channel said the Karman Line, which lies 100 km above earth’s sea level, is the boundary between earth’s atmosphere and outer space.
- The footprints on the moon will be there practically forever. Scientists have proven that the moon has no atmosphere, which means that there is no wind and no water to disturb or wash the footprints away. In human terms, it may seem like forever. But in geological terms, the traces of the Apollo exploration will be there for 10 to a hundred million years, until the rocks erode eventually, at a rate of about 0.04 inches every 1 million years.
For more secrets of the unexplored cosmos, watch Discovery Channel’s Space Week this October 2 to 6 on Discovery Channel, 8:10 p.m. on SkyCable Ch. 36 and Cignal Ch. 140. /kga