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General Information, Facts & Tables
[Astronomical Superlatives]

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Overview

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The tables below list the most prominent items in their category sorted by attribute.

See Also: Astronomical Superlatives, Human Superlatives, Natural Superlatives, World Records.
 

Closest Galaxies

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Galaxy

Discovered

Diameter *

Distance *

Sagittarius Dwarf

1994

10

~82

Large Magellanic Cloud

BC

30

~160

Small Magellanic Cloud

BC

16

~190

Draco Dwarf

1954

3

~205

Ursa Minor Dwarf

1954

2

~205

Sculptor Dwarf

1937

3

~254

Sextans Dwarf

1990

4

~258

Carina Dwarf

1977

2

~330

Fornax Dwarf

1938

6

~450

Leo II

1950

3

~660

* 1 000 Light years.
 

Brightest Stars

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Star

Constellation

Distance (Light years)

Apparent Magnitude

Sirius

Canis Minor

8.61

-1.44

Canopus

Carina

312.73

-0.62

Arcturus

Boötes

36.39

~-0.05

Alpha Centauri A

Centaurus

4.40

-0.01

Vega

Lyra

25.31

+0.03

Capella

Auriga

42.21

+0.08

Rigel

Orion

772.91

+0.18

Procyon

Canis Minor

11.42

+0.40

Achernar

Eridanus

143.81

+0.45

Beta Centauri

Centaurus

525.22

+0.61

 ~ = variable
 

Largest Meteorites

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Location

Weight (Tonnes)

Hoba West, Grootfontein, Namibia

~60

Ahnighito (The Tent), Cape York, West Greensland

57.3

Campo del Cielo, Argentina

41.4

Canyon Diablo#, Arizona, USA

30.0

Sikhote-Alin, Russia

27.0

Chupaderos, Mexico

24.2

Bacuberito, Mexico

22.0

Armanty, Western Mongolia

20.0

Mundrabilla *, West Australia

17.0

Mbosi, Tanzania

16.0

* Two parts, # Fragmented
 

Closest Stars

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Star

Constellation

Brightness

Distance

Spectral Type

Proxima Centauri

Centaurus

~11.1

4.25

M

Alpha Centauri A

Centaurus

0

4.3

G

Beta Centauri B

Centaurus

1.4

4.3

K

Barnard's

Ophiuchus

9.5

6

M

Wolf 359

Leo

~13.5

7.6

M

Lalande 21185

Ursa Major

7.5

8.1

M

UV Ceti A

Cetus

~12.4

8.4

M

UV Ceti B

Cetus

~13.02

8.4

M

Sirius A

Canis Major

-1.46

8.6

A

Sirius B

Canis Major

8.5

8.6

DA

* Distance in light years
 

Most Common Elements in the Universe

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Element

Parts per million

Hydrogen

750 000

Helium

230 000

Oxygen

10 000

Carbon

5 000

Neon

1 300

Iron

1 100

Nitrogen

1 000

Silicon

700

Magnesium

600

Sulphur

500

 

Composition of the Earth's Atmosphere

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Gas (Symbol)

Parts per million (Volume)

Parts per million (weight)

Nitrogen (N)

780 900.0

755 100

Oxygen (O)

209 500.0

231 500

Argon (Ar)

9 300.0

12 800

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

300.0

460

Neon (Ne)

18

12.5

Helium (He)

5.2

0.72

Methane (CH4)

1.5

0.94

Krypton (Kr)

1.0

2.9

Nitrous Oxide (NO2)

0.5

0.8

Hydrogen (H)

0.5

0.035

 

Closest Asteroids Due

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Asteroid

Date

Distance km (mi)

Aphosis

13/4/2029

34 667 (21 547)

2005 YU55

8/11/2011

159 322 (98 998)

2000 WO107

2/12/2169

242 797 (150 867)

2000 WNS

26/6/2028

249 828 (155 235)

1998 OX4

22/1/2148

299 794 (186 283)

1999 AN10

7/8/2027

388 954 (241 684)

1998 MZ

26/11/2116

411 394 (255 628)

1997 XF11

28/10/2136

413 189 (256 743)

2003 QC10

24/9/2066

508 034 (315 677)

2001 GQ2

27/4/2100

508 632 (316 049)

 

Closest Comets to Earth

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Comet

Date

Distance km (mi)

Comet of 1491

20/2/1491

1 406 220 (873 784)

Lexell

1/7/1770

1 406 220 (873 784)

Tempel-Tuttle

26/10/1366

3 425 791 (2 128 688)

IRAS-Araki-Alcock

11/5/1983

4 682 413 (2 909 516)

Halley

10/4/1837

4 996 569 (3 104 724)

Biela

9/12/1805

5 475 282 (3 402 182)

Grischow

8/2/1743

5 834 317 (3 625 276)

Pons-Winnecke

26/6/1927

5 894 156 (3 662 458)

Comet of 1014

24/2/1014

6 088 633 (3 783 301)

La Hire

20/4/1702

6 537 427 (4 062 168)