Your kids probably love outer space, right? Even kids who aren’t science-oriented seem to have a fascination with the universe. Hey, we don’t blame ’em — you don’t have to be an astronaut (or a wannabe astronaut) to appreciate the vast and mysterious expanse above us. There’s just so much out there. Even with just your own set of eyes, you can see some pretty cool stuff. You didn’t need a fancy telescope to find 2020’s “Christmas Star” or marvel over the “Great American Eclipse” of 2017.
Whether you’re sitting through another cartoon space adventure, working on a science project, or just simply want to earn points as the coolest dad on the block, some weird info about outer space can be a great contribution. Does your kid know what an astronomical unit is? Or have they wondered what it’s like on the moon? We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting and quirky space facts for kids we could find. Share ‘em as you see fit.
Fun Space Facts For Kids
1 Mercury’s craters are named after famous artists, musicians, and authors (there aren’t any named after Disney characters yet, but there is one named Disney!).
2. Mercury is shrinking due to its fault scarps, which we discovered in 2016 thanks to a purposely crashed spacecraft.
3. Neither Mercury nor Venus have moons.
4. While most planets are similar to Earth and rotate around a north-south axis, Uranus rotates on its side.
5. Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system. Betcha thought that record belonged to Mercury, eh?
6. Litter is everywhere, including space. Thanks to our constant quest to know more about our solar system, there are now-defunct satellites and out-of-service spacecraft scattered throughout our galaxy.
7. If you combined the mass of all other planets and doubled it, that object would still be smaller than Jupiter.
8. Mount Everest is only the tallest mountain on Earth. Mars’ Olympus Mons is more than 10 miles taller, making its peak nearly three times as high.
9. Jupiter is also the “owner” of the galaxy’s most active moon. Its moon, Io, has hundreds of volcanoes. They are in an almost constant state of eruption due to Jupiter’s gravitational pull.
10. On Neptune, one year is equal to 164.8 Earth years. In other words, you won’t live long enough for Neptune to complete even one rotation around the sun.
11. Neptune’s moon, Triton, orbits the planet “backward.”
12. Uranus’ blue glow is thanks to its atmospheric gases.
13. The Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers write more than 15,000 research papers.
14. While it seems like we’re on a never-ending space quest to find water on Mars, we do know that ice exists throughout our solar system — including on our own moon and even in shadowed Mercurian craters.
15. The first food ever eaten in space was applesauce.
16. The sun is 4.6 billion years old.
17. Did you know that technically the color white isn’t a lack of colors, but all colors mixed together? This phenomenon accounts for why the sun appears white to us.
18. You could fit more than one million Earths inside the sun.
19. The sun is made of roughly ¼ helium.
20. The distance between Earth and the sun is called an astronomical unit.
21. Did you know the sun makes its own orbit? It takes roughly 225-250 million years to complete one orbit around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
22. When the sun runs out of hydrogen, it will begin expanding and devour Mercury, Venus, and Earth. Don’t worry, though! Scientists believe we have another 5 billion years before that happens. Even your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren won’t see this happen.
23. There are more stars in space than grains of sand on Earth. (If you want to fact check that, you better start counting.)
24. The first woman in space was Russian astronaut Valentina Tereshkova.
25. There’s no wind on our moon.
26. Because of the lack of wind, our astronauts’ footprints will never disappear.
27. Combined with the sun’s, the moon’s gravitational pull creates our tides.
28. No matter where you are on Earth, you’re always seeing the same side of the moon.
29. We know more about our moon than our oceans. It’s true! We’ve mapped 100 percent of our moon’s surface. However, we’ve only explored about 5 percent of the ocean floor.
30. Sure, you know about black holes, but what do you know about white holes? Despite having never discovered one, scientists know it’s mathematically possible they exist.
31. The center of the galaxy reportedly smells like rum and tastes like raspberries. Um, yum! Wondering why? Well, that would be thanks to the chemical ethyl formate, which gives both their distinct smell and taste. It was recently discovered in a gas cloud near the center of the Milky Way.
32. “Outer space” is only 62 miles away. That means you’re closer to outer space than Disney World is to Miami or Los Angeles is to San Diego.
33. Space is completely silent.
Name one TV commercial you remember, and I’ll bet you had an emotional reaction the first time you viewed it — whether it made you laugh, smile, cry, or all three.
It’s no secret that some of the most memorable advertising somehow pulls at your heartstrings. Case in point: the Budweiser Clydesdales, the Apple iPad widower, or the Mac Daddy of them all, the Sarah McLachlan SPCA ads (you’re welcome for that earworm btw).
However, there’s a new player on the list of corporate emotional manipulators, and it’s one you may not expect: Doritos.
Over the holidays, Doritos Mexico launched a commercial that’s since made waves for all the right reasons, especially in the LGBTQ+ community.
This Doritos ad from Mexico about a single dad trying to express his support for his gay son has me tearing up.
— Q. Allan Brocka (@allanbrocka) January 8, 2021
It features a divorced father with a college-age son who brought a friend home for the holidays. However, he soon suspects his son and the male companion “are a couple and they do not dare tell me,” so he goes to Reddit for advice on how to break the news gently that he knows… and, more importantly, that his love is unconditional.
The ad — which is based on a true story — ends with a simple, subtly sweet exchange between father & son… followed by the viewer’s own visceral ugly-crying (or maybe that’s just me?).
With everything going on in the world today, it’s the virtual, inclusive embrace we all need right now, albeit from an unexpected source. (Then again, as the saying goes, “If you can’t get a warm, bosomy grandma hug, fill the spiritual abyss with a chips commercial!”)
Here’s hoping it makes its way to U.S. airwaves soon.
Watch the full Doritos Mexico ad (in Spanish with English subtitles) below.
Say what you want about DC’s handling of Superman, the Justice League, and their movies in general, they’ve never once wavered from their commitment to Batman. Barely a year goes by without Batman making news one way or another, and this year is no different.
There’s a new movie in the works with a new take on the character, a new cut of Justice League fans are hoping fixes the last version, the return of several former actors reprising their roles in the eventual Flash flick, a new comic series featuring a black Batman, a new HBO Max show set in his universe and now a new cartoon as well, picking up where the beloved Batman: The Animated Series left off.
On their Fatman Beyond podcast, legendary geek/director and the man behind the He-Man revival recently set the batcorners of the internet aflame when he discussed a rumor the HBO Max is developing a follow-up to the legendary Batman animated show from the 90s.
“The rumor is that HBO Max is looking at making a Batman: The Animated Series sequel, that they want to continue that forward,” Bernardin said before his co-host began gushing.
“I’m not involved, but I too have heard this and I’ve heard this from very reliable people,” Smith said. “When I heard it I freaked out, and I heard this…I would say a month before you just said it. I think that’s real, I don’t think that’s a rumor, I wouldn’t say ‘Set your watch to it,’ but it’s an idea whose time is not only coming, I think it came, and it’s smoking a cigarette. I think that’s gonna happen. How fucking amazing would that be because you can just literally pick up and keep going. It’s not like, oh we gotta explain why everyone’s older, it’s fucking animation man so you can go right back to those amazing fucking stories.”
Batman: The Animated Series originally ran from 1992-1995 and features what some fans consider to be the definitive versions of both Batman (as voiced by Kevin Conroy) and The Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill). The cartoon also introduced Harley Quinn, who has since skyrocketed to become one of DC’s most popular characters (and who has her own show on HBO Max).
The rumor that a new version of Batman: TAS might be coming has fans rejoicing for yet another take on the Dark Knight. Check out Smith and Bernadin’s glee at discussing the rumors:
With all the remakes and reboots of classics that continue to be in development, there is one genre that never really seems to get recycled, and that’s comedies.
There have been a few attempts, like the Ed Helms version of Vacation, and a reboot of Fletch, coincidentally another Chevy Chase series, is currently in the works, with Jon Hamm (but it will adhere more closely to the series of novels than the movies). And now another classic comedy that, coincidentally, also once had Ed Helms attached may be coming soon: The Naked Gun.
The Ed Helms casting never made sense to me, because one of the things that made Naked Gun work was the fact that Leslie Nielsen wasn’t known as a comic actor, aside from his hilarious performance in Airplane!, which was also a Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker joint.
Thankfully, there’s a new name being bandied about, and he’s far from a comedian, despite how hilarious The Phantom Menace is: Liam Neeson.
Yes, I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.
Neeson revealed that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, with whom the Taken star has collaborated on A Million Ways to Die in the West, Ted 2, and several of his TV shows, has approached him to headline the Naked Gun reboot.
“I’ve been approached by Seth MacFarlane and Paramount Studios to maybe resurrect the Naked Gun films,” Neeson said while talking to People about his latest action movie, The Marksmen.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this idea. McFarlane himself floated Neeson as a comedy star once before.
“Generally with dramatic actors they do kinda like the idea of coming in and doing a comedy to show they can do comedy,” McFarlane said back in 2015. “Liam is great with comedy. I don’t know whether you’ve ever seen his Ricky Gervais sketch? Liam is awesome.”
He even expressed his desire to relaunch the Naked Gun with the tall Irishman.
“My dream at some point would be to do an entire movie with Liam where he does a Leslie Nielson Naked Gun kinda thing. Because he’s so good at playing against the comedy and therefore he’s hilarious. He just really knows what he’s doing.”
This is all just chatter for now, but if they do end up remaking the Naked Gun, Neeson strikes me as a great choice for Lt. Frank Drebin.
“My husband is the best dad in the world, but even great dads get tired!”
– Sidney Gregory
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Having a kid forced to fight cancer seems like one of the cruelest things a family can face, so anything that can bring a smile to the kid’s face must feel like gold. Ryan Reynolds came through in a big way for a young fan in that situation, sending a video message to an 11-year-old boy with Hodgkins Lymphoma and Crohn’s disease.
Ryan Reynolds is a class act, and exhibit A in how to act if you’re a movie star. Whether it’s helping a lonely kid on his birthday or sending love to a sick kid, Reynolds is there (along with the many hilarious things he does as well).
In this case, the boy’s mom had recently shared on social media that they were having a hard time, but watching the Deadpool movies was one of the things getting them through. So Reynolds sent a personal message of hope to the kid.
How cool is this? Huge thanks to @VancityReynolds for taking the time to send a message back to Brody Dery from Prince George. Thanks to everyone for helping get the message to Ryan so fast! @ckpgnews pic.twitter.com/dFJJi6huC1
— Caden Fanshaw (@CadenFanshaw) January 13, 2021
“Brody, it’s Ryan Reynolds, I just heard a little bit about your story and I wanted to send you this video and let you know that I’m thinking about you and I’m sending you tons of love and I’m sending you strength, whatever strength I’ve got.”
He closed the message with praise for the boy and expressing his hope they can meet in person someday.
“Man, you have a ton of people in your life that love you so much. I know you’ve been going through it, I know it’s been a challenge, but you’re just the man for the job Brody. So I’m sending you lots of love. I hope I get to meet you in person one of these days.”
His mom was over the moon, telling a Canadian news outlet that her son’s jaw hit the floor when he saw the video and kept saying “I feel like I’m the movie star.” She said when they are having a hard day, they love watching Deadpool to cheer up and that they’ve been watching the clip nonstop since he sent it. They had put the call out earlier in the week, after a hard week of chemo.
Hey Twitter! Let’s make sure this message gets to @VancityReynolds. Brody Dery from #CityofPG needs some inspiration and is hoping Ryan can help him out after a tough week of chemo @BCChildrensHosp pic.twitter.com/bn9ssb9HEt
— Caden Fanshaw (@CadenFanshaw) January 12, 2021
Ryan Reynolds, coming through, yet again. You can almost set your watch to how awesome Reynolds is on a daily basis.
Dogs are wildly intelligent, but sometimes, they’re too smart for their own good. A video of Russell Jones and his sweet dog Bill has recently gone massively viral, and at first glance, it looks like the pair has seen better days. Both Jones and Bill limp slowly to their front door, Jones on crutches and Bill holding up his front paw as he hobbles alongside him.
Jones and Bill weren’t in some sort of accident. In fact, according to Bill’s vet, nothing is actually wrong. The video has been shared on Facebook over 28,000 times and has popped up on every imaginable social media site in the four days since it was posted by Russell.
“Cost me £300 in vet fees and X-rays, nothing wrong just sympathy. Love him,” Jones captioned the video.
According to Bill’s vet, a slew of tests revealed that there was nothing physically wrong with the empathetic pup. Presumably, Bill saw his human limping, and copied his behavior. While some animal behavior experts claim that limping out of sympathy is unlikely and more tests are needed, others have pointed to studies that do in fact show that dogs imitate the behavior of their pack leaders. In this case, Bill’s pack leader happens to be a human with a limp.
Fortunately, for everyone concerned, the video is something Jones has been holding onto for months. His ankle was broken in June, and he shared an updated video of Bill running around just fine in August. When Jones’s cast was removed and he was no longer on crutches, Bill seemed to realize, “oh ok, we’re not doing that anymore?” and proceeded to walk normally again. We truly do not deserve dogs.
It was only last week that Disney+ finally premiered the first MCU TV show, with two episodes of WandaVision dropping Friday. In some ways, it’s totally unique – it features somewhat minor characters and the show is spoofing sitcoms of years gone by, in service of a larger mystery that will take some time to unpack.
In other ways, it’s one of many, in that there are about to be a whole bunch of MCU TV shows, including The Falcon and Winter Soldier, Loki, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and more. One of the “more” is to be Moon Knight, aka Marvel’s Batman (rich vigilante), who has been many things over the years, including an ex-Marine mercenary, a vigilante (who sometimes has supernatural ties to an Egyptian god), to a guy with multiple personalities. The character is not exactly a headliner, but maybe that’s why Marvel is making sure the cast is.
Rumor has it that Oscar Isaac, an excellent actor with three Star Wars flicks under his belt, will be playing the titular Moon Knight, and now Marvel and Disney have secured his foil: Ethan Hawke.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Hawke, who has been in our lives for decades, from Explorers to Reality Bites to Training Day, Boyhood, and Sinister, but has never quite gone the blockbuster or superhero route. Until now.
No one is quite sure who Hawke is playing – aside from the lead villain – but Moon Knight has an archenemy named Bushman, also a former mercenary, that may be an option. It probably doesn’t matter all that much, considering how talented an actor Hawke is.
This show is shaping up to be another interesting entry in the MCU’s increasingly diverse stable of TV shows, each with a different tone and style. We’re yet to learn what genre Moon Knight will fall into, but with actors like Isaac and Hawke leading this show, it can pretty much be whatever it wants.
It’s one of the most-hyped TV projects that we know the least amount about, but we’re finally starting to get some details about Amazon’s massive Lord of the Rings series set to debut later this year or in early 2022. The hype is real for the series, as Amazon invested a shocking 500 MILLION into the project, sight unseen, with a five-season minimum commitment. For Tolkien fans, this is almost as big (possibly bigger?) as the movies.
So what do we know? Amazon confirmed the series description that first appeared on TheOneRing and was also confirmed by Entertainment Weekly. And that description indicates the new series will take place during the “fabled Second Age” of Middle-earth’s history, meaning it’s set thousands of years before the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies.
— TheOneRing.net (@theoneringnet) January 13, 2021
The series “will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness.
Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters will carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.”
With Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series official plot synopsis out in the wild, we thought it was the perfect time to dig into what Middle Earth’s Second Age is all about. https://t.co/fUKq8JX1dF pic.twitter.com/4jBG9fAys0
— IGN (@IGN) January 13, 2021
The greatest villain teased in the description is thought to be Sauron, the second Dark Lord and the creator of the One Ring. So the series has a tremendous amount to explore while keeping enough familiar characters and locales to satisfy fans of the books and movies, as it details Sauron’s rise.
The series is currently filming in New Zealand (where the movies were also shot) for the epic 20-episode first season that was intended to be released in late 2021. While no release date has been set, it is still expected to be later this year or early 2022 when we’ll finally get to return to Middle-earth.