Debunking 10 Common Myths About Space


Despite the incredible strides we’ve made in space exploration and our growing understanding of the cosmos, many misconceptions about space still linger in the public imagination. These misunderstandings can distort our perception of the universe and its phenomena. In this article, we debunk 10 common misconceptions about space.

Moon’s Dark Side

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Many believe the Moon has a permanently dark side. Both sides of the Moon receive sunlight as it orbits Earth. The term “dark side” refers to the far side, which remains hidden from our view due to synchronous rotation. Each side experiences about two weeks of sunlight followed by two weeks of darkness.

Exploding in Space


Contrary to popular belief, astronauts do not explode when exposed to the vacuum of space. Instead, they would suffocate and potentially experience the boiling of body fluids due to the lack of pressure. However, spacesuits are designed to prevent such catastrophes, ensuring astronauts can survive brief exposures to space.

Absence of Gravity


Space does have gravity, but astronauts’ sensation of weightlessness is due to free-falling in orbit around Earth, creating a microgravity environment. Objects and people appear to float because they are constantly falling toward Earth but moving forward fast enough to miss it.

Space’s Cold Embrace


Space is often thought to be freezing cold. While space can be extremely cold, it is also a near-perfect vacuum with no medium for heat transfer. Astronauts can overheat if they are directly exposed to the Sun without protection. Their suits are equipped with systems to manage temperature, ensuring they stay cool or warm as needed.

Black Holes: Cosmic Vacuums

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People imagine black holes frequently as giant vacuums sucking everything in. Instead, black holes have strong gravitational pulls that affect nearby matter, but objects must be extremely close to the event horizon to be drawn in. They don’t indiscriminately consume everything in their path; their influence extends only to nearby objects.

Visible Stars in Space

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A common myth is that astronauts can see millions of stars from space. In reality, the brightness of the Sun and reflected light from Earth make stars much harder to see without special equipment. The sky appears mostly black, and astronauts often need to use cameras with long exposure settings to capture images of the stars.

Sun’s Yellow Hue


Despite illustrations showing a yellow Sun, our star appears white when viewed from space. Earth’s atmosphere scatters sunlight, giving the Sun its yellowish tint when seen from the ground. In space, without atmospheric interference, the true color of the Sun is visible, revealing it as a brilliant white light source.

Sound in Space


Movies often depict noisy space battles, but space is silent. Sound requires a medium to travel, and the vacuum of space lacks air or any other medium for sound waves. Explosions, engine noises, and other sounds in space scenes are pure fiction. Communication in space is done through radio waves, which can travel through the vacuum.

Floating Away


Some think that an unanchored astronaut will drift away into space indefinitely. While possible, astronauts are tethered during spacewalks and have jetpacks for maneuvering back to safety. The jetpack, known as the SAFER (Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue), provides a reliable way to return to the spacecraft in case of an accidental detachment.

Earth’s Perfect Sphere


The idea that Earth is a perfect sphere is widespread. In fact, Earth is an oblate spheroid which bulges around the equator due to its rotation and is slightly flattened at the poles. This shape causes a slight variation in gravity at different latitudes, making the equatorial region experience slightly weaker gravity than the poles.


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