Busting 5 myths about astronomy that you thought were true
September 17, 2023 | 12:45 pm
3 min read
Astronomy is an intriguing subject of research and theories.
However, just like how the planets orbit around the sun, multiple misconceptions revolve around astronomy that most people have grown up believing to be true.
While some think that the stars twinkle, others believe the moon has a dark side. Well, none of this is true!
Let’s debunk the five most common myths about astronomy.
Myth 1: Stars twinkle
If you thought that stars twinkle, you may have been living a lie all your life!
Well, we don’t blame you. The truth is that when starlight reaches the Earth, it is bent, deviated, reflected, and twisted by the planet’s turbulent atmosphere.
So when you see them with your naked eyes, they appear to be flickering or twinkling.
Myth 2: Shooting stars are real stars
No, they are not. Shooting stars are instead the bright, fiery, and speedy pieces of debris burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere and they are called meteors.
While most end up in the atmosphere itself, if they make it to our planet’s surface, they are called meteorites.
On a clear night, witnessing a meteor streak across the sky can be a truly magical experience.
Myth 3: Mercury is the hottest planet
Mercury is the first planet in our solar system and the closest to the sun. However, it’s not the hottest of all.
Then which one is it? Well, it’s Venus! Mercury’s temperature is 427 degrees Celsius, which is cooler than Venus which measures 460 degrees Celsius!
This is because Mercury has no atmosphere to retain heat, unlike Venus which has a thick one.
Myth 4: The moon has a perpetual dark side
Many believe that the moon has a bright side (the one we see) and a dark side (the one we don’t see).
However, like all celestial bodies in our solar system, the moon also experiences day and night.
Its rotation is synchronized with Earth’s, so the part of the moon that faces away from Earth receives sunlight during the other half of its day.
Myth 5: Our Universe is the only one that exists
Ancient astronomers thought that our solar system represented the entire Universe. However, this was soon rejected after the Milky Way was discovered.
Researchers further found multiple such systems outside ours and today, with more advanced research and equipment, it’s believed that we live in a multiverse that comprises various parallel universes.
So, our planet, we, and our problems are tinier than sand particles!
Share this timeline