This infrared image from Nasa's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals W40, a butterfly-shaped nebula (a giant cloud of gas and dust where new stars may form). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Space is weird. It’s full of invisible electromagnetic forces that we usually don’t feel, and bizarre kinds of matter we never encounter on Earth.

Click start to play today’s space-themed Word Search.

But, just how strange is space? Here are three out-of-this-world things that almost exclusively happen in space:

1. Plasma

On Earth, matter typically exists in one of three states: solid, liquid or gas. But in space, according to US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), 99.9 per cent of regular matter is made of an entirely different form, called plasma. Comprising loose ions and electrons, this substance is created when matter is heated to extreme temperatures and exposed to a strong electric current. We see plasma all the time, even from Earth. All the stars in the night sky – even the sun – are mostly made of plasma. On Earth, it appears occasionally in the form of lightning and in neon signs.

2. Cosmic alchemy

Every second, the sun fuses 600 million metric tons of hydrogen – about the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza… 102 times! Fusion, the process of joining atoms together under immense pressure and temperature to forge new elements, occurs all the time in the cosmos. Stars are always hard at work, and their fusion releases enormous amounts of energy and particles of light.

3. Extreme temperatures

The extreme temperatures we experience on Earth are considered average when compared to space. Planets that do not have an insulating atmosphere often see temperatures fluctuating dramatically between the day and night. Days of 449 degrees Celsius and night as low as -171 degrees Celsius are not uncommon. And according to Nasa, even some spacecraft experience temperature differences of 33 degrees Celsius just between their sunlit and shady sides! Because of this, astronaut suits are built to withstand temperatures from -157 degrees Celsius to 121 degrees Celsius.

Did you know these intriguing facts about space? Play today’s Word Search and tell us at