Let's talk about some common misconceptions about space and some facts about space that you will be surprised to hear.

Is the Pole Star the Brightest Star? And Which is the Nearest Star? 

Before we look at some common misconceptions about space, let's take a look at some facts that will surprise you. As you know, space is actually an infinite void. In some parts of this space, there are countless galaxies, stars orbiting those galaxies and planets orbiting those stars. Earth is one of those planets. Ranking 3rd in terms of proximity to the Sun, Earth is a planet between Mars and Venus.

  • How far is the Moon from Earth?
  • Is Mars the closest planet to Earth?
  • Did you know the distance between the Earth and the Sun?
  • Is the brightest star the Pole Star? Or is it the White Star?

The closest massive celestial body to our Earth is the Moon, which is also our Earth's only natural satellite. Although we say it is close, the Moon is about 384,000 kilometers away from Earth and it takes 4 days to reach it, even with the most powerful rocket ever built. You can easily visualize this distance in your mind, right? 

Here is a fact that will surprise you!

In the space between the Earth and the Moon, all the planets in the Solar System can fit. The Moon, which is visible almost every night, is actually really far away from us.   

But which planet is the closest to Earth? This question actually reveals another misconception. We think you are answering it yourself right now. Before you say it, the closest planet to Earth is NOT Mars. The closest planet to Earth is Venus, which is called Earth's sister because it is similar to Earth in size.  

Now let's come to another topic and share one more fact about space.

How far away is the nearest star to Earth?

For those of us living on Earth, the closest star to us is, of course, the Sun. The distance between the Sun and the Earth is approximately 150 million kilometers.

So how far is the closest star to the Sun?

The closest star to the Sun is about 4.3 light years away from the Sun. Let's use our imagination to describe this situation, since there is no unit of measurement that we know and live by.  

Let's say the Sun is the size of the period at the end of a sentence in a normal book. In this case, where do you think the nearest star is? At the beginning of the sentence? Or in the first line of the book?   

Are you ready?

Even if we were to shrink the entire universe to this size, the nearest star would be about 6.5 kilometers away from you. And in reality, the nearest star is actually very, very far away from us. 

Now let's talk about the pole star. Contrary to popular belief, the pole star is not the brightest star. In fact, the pole star is not even a very bright star. The pole star allows us to find the north direction because the axis of rotation of the Earth and the pole star, Polaris, are in the same direction. Therefore, Polaris always points north in the Northern Hemisphere.

The brightest star we can see in the sky at night is Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation of the Big Dog. It is especially visible at night during the winter months and can be seen very clearly thanks to its brightness. For example, if you look at the sky in the south direction with the help of a compass between 20.50-21.00 this evening, you can see Sirius or Akyıldız in Turkish very easily.

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