How It Works

Month In Facts: December

300 sextillion

A new estimate for the number of stars in the universe, according to the journal Nature. It could also be written as 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.

$2 billion

Amount of money Russia plans to spend on cleaning up space debris around Earth. They’ll launch a nuclear-powered cleaning pod by 2023, giving it ten years to clear a section of debris.

308 days

Time taken to download a 1GB file in 1985. Today, 25 years later, that same file would take just one minute and 20 seconds to download

8,553

Number of facts in the How It Works Annual.

Six days

Time it took Chinese builders and engineers to build a 15-story hotel. Known as the Sustainable Building, the environmentally friendly structure requires six times less material than other high-rise blocks.

Sugar cube

IBM researchers say that in 10-15 years a supercomputer could be the size of a sugar cube once the problem of cooling tiny chip stacks has been solved.