Interesting Facts about Pluto

Pluto isn't a planet any more, but it's still a very interesting "dwarf planet" in the Solar System, worthy of our fascination and interest. Here are 10 interesting facts on Pluto. Some you might already know, and others will be completely new.

1. Pluto has an atmosphere
Even though Pluto's average temperature averages a mere 44 degrees above absolute zero, the dwarf planet has an atmosphere. Not an atmosphere as we know it, but an atmosphere, none the less.

It was first discovered back in 1985, when astronomers watched as Pluto passed in front of a star. They were able to calculate a slight dimming as its atmosphere passed in front of the star, before Pluto itself blocked the star entirely. From those observations, they were able to calculate that it has a thin envelope of nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide.

As Pluto moves away from the Sun, this atmosphere gets so cold that it freezes onto the surface. And then as the dwarf planet warms again, the atmosphere evaporates again, forming a gas around it.

2. Pluto has 3 moons
You might have heard that Pluto has a large moon called Charon (more on that later), but did you know that it actually has 3 moons in total. Charon is the large one, with a mass of roughly half that of Pluto's.

Two additional moons, Nix and Hydra, were discovered by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope on May 15, 2005. They were originally called S/2005 P1 and S/2005 P2, and then given their final names on June 21, 2006.

They took a long time to discover because they're so tiny. Nix is only 46 km across, while Hydra is 61 km across.

3. Pluto hasn't cleared out its orbit
Although Pluto orbits the Sun and it's round, it's not a planet. And that's because Pluto hasn't cleared out its orbit of material. This was the reason that the International Astronomical Union chose to demote it from planet to dwarf planet in 2006.

Just to give you an idea, if you added up the mass of all the other objects in Pluto's orbit, Pluto's mass would only be a tiny fraction of that total. In fact, it would only be 0.07 times as massive as everything else. For comparison, if you did the same thing with all the other material in the Earth's orbit, our planet would be 1.5 million times as massive.

And that's why Pluto's not a planet.

4. Pluto is actually a binary system
You'd think that Charon orbits Pluto, but actually, Pluto and Charon orbit a common point in space. In the case of the Earth and the Moon, we actually orbit a common point, but that spot exists inside the Earth. In the case of Pluto and Charon, however, that common point is above the surface of Pluto.

Before Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet, astronomers were thinking of classifying it as a binary planet system. And then as a binary dwarf planet system. Perhaps that will help it recover some of its lost glory.

5. Pluto is named after a god, not a dog
If you think Pluto is named after a Disney character, you're wrong. It's actually named after the Roman god of the underworld. And Charon is the ferryman who carries souls across the river Styx.

When it was first discovered, Pluto was just given the name Planet X, but then the discoverers needed to come up with something better and more permanent. The name Pluto was suggested by Venetia Burney, an 11-year old school girl in oxford, England. She thought it was a good name for such a cold, dark world.It was passed along to the discoverers and they liked it enough to make it official.

6. Pluto can be closer than Neptune.
For most of its orbit, Pluto is more distant than Neptune, reaching out as far as 49 astronomical units (49 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun). But it has such an eccentric, elliptical orbit that it gets much closer, reaching a mere 29 AU. And during that time, it's actually orbiting within the orbit of Neptune. The last time Pluto and Neptune made this switch was between February 7, 1979 and February 11, 1999. And give it another couple of hundred years and it'll happen again.

7. Pluto is smaller than any planet, and even 7 moons
Pluto is small. How small? Astronomers recently calculated that its mass is 1.31 x 1022 kg (less than 0.24% the mass of Earth). And its diameter is only 2,390 km across.

At this point, it's smaller than Mercury, and seven other moons including: Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, Io, Earth's Moon, Europa, and Triton.

And now astronomers know that it's even smaller than the recently discovered dwarf planet Eris. Here's more information about how big Pluto is.

8. If it were closer to the Sun, Pluto would be a comet
Although this isn't officially a reason for losing its planet status, Pluto wouldn't last long if it got much closer to the Sun. It's comprised of about half rock and half ice. This is a similar ratio to many rocky comets in the Solar System.

If you could somehow bring Pluto closer to the Sun, it would sprout a tail, becoming a spectacular comet. And over millions of years, the solar wind would blast away its icy structure, causing it to lose mass.

It's lucky Pluto lives in such a cold, dark part of the Solar System.

9. Charon might have geysers
In the last few years, astronomers have discovered that several objects in the Solar System have ice geysers, including Saturn's moon Enceladus, and maybe several others as well. But Pluto's moon Charon could have this happening too.

Astronomers using the Gemini Observatory in Mauna Kea in Hawaii recently turned up evidence that geysers on Charon are spreading ammonia hydrates and water crystals across the surface of the moon.

Is this really happening? We'll know soon, because… here's the last Pluto fact.

10. There's a spacecraft going to Pluto right now
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is making its way to Pluto right now. The spacecraft launched in 2005, and its expected to reach the dwarf planet in 2015. It will pass right through the system, imaging the surface of Pluto and its moons, and finally answering questions that have puzzled astronomers for nearly a hundred years.


The Dwarf Planet Pluto

Why Isn't Pluto a Planet Any More?

Interesting Facts about Abraham Lincoln

  • Lincoln was the tallest President. At six feet, four inches, Lincoln towered over most of his contemporaries. The average height for a man during that time was about five feet, six inches. When seated, the President was about the same height as an average man; he had exceptionally long legs.
  • Before Abraham Lincoln, there had never been a U.S. President with a beard. Since his presidency, four presidents have had full beards.
  • At the time of his marriage to Mary Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln had been very poor. Lincoln courted Mary Todd for only one year before proposing marriage. Mary Todd Lincoln's family did not approve of the match.
  • Lincoln was born in Indiana but began his political career in Illinois. The Lincoln Presidential Library is located in Springfield, Illinois.
  • The16th President hated to go to the dentist. There was little anesthesia at the time, and one dentist has actually broken off part of Lincoln's jaw when pulling a tooth.
  • After his birth mother died of milk sickness, Lincoln's father remarried. As a boy, Lincoln was very close to his step-mother, and she was supportive of his need to educate himself.
  • Lincoln loved animals and did not like hunting or killing them even for food. He had several pets including dogs, cats, and even a turkey.
  • Most people think of Abraham Lincoln wearing a tall stovepipe hat. He used to store things in his hat, including letters and other documents.
  • Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln had four children. Three of their children died before reaching adulthood. Robert Lincoln was the only child to survive. Abraham Lincoln has no living descendants.
  • Our 16th President considered himself a Christian, but he did not belong to any church. He did not routinely say grace at mealtime, but he did read the Bible. Despite not belonging to an established church, many consider Lincoln to have been a spiritual man.
  • Abraham Lincoln was a witty man. Many of his jokes and funny sayings have been recorded, including this one: "If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"
  • Lincoln suffered from serious depression and migraine headaches. Both could be debilitating, and there were times he spent days in bed.
  • Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. He was killed on April 15, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. At the time of his death, Lincoln was 56 years old.
  • One little-known fun fact about Abraham Lincoln is that he had a dream predicting his own death. In his dream, he heard crying in the White House. When he asked the person who had died, he was told that it was the President.

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Biography of Abraham Lincoln

Interesting Facts about PI (3.14)

By Maya Pillai
In 1706, an English mathematician introduced the Greek alphabet pi (π) to represent the said value. However, in 1737, Euler officially adopted this symbol to represent the number.

In 1897, legislature of Indiana tried to legally establish the most accurate value of pi. However, the bill was never passed.

Most of the people are ignorant of the fact circle has infinite number of corners. The value of the pi is the number of times the diameter of a circle would fit around its circumference.

The value of pi is 22/7 and it is written as π=22/7 or as π=3.14.

The value of pi with first 100 decimal places is: 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679

Another interesting fact is you would not find a zero in the first 31 digits of pi.

Besides everyday geometry calculations, the value of pi is also used in numerous scientific equations including genetic engineering, measuring the ripples, super strings, normal distribution and so on.

Do you know pi not only an irrational number but also a transcendental number?
Another interesting fact about pi is it was taken from the Greek letter "Piwas". It is also the 16th Greek alphabet.

A businessman in Cleveland, US published a book in 1931 to announce the value of pi is 256/81.

If you were to print billion decimals of pi in ordinary font it would stretch from New York City to Kansas.

More Interesting Facts about Pi

Did you know that it took Yasumasa Kanada, a professor at the University of Tokyo, approximately 116 hours to compute 6,442,450,000 decimal places of Pi on a computer?

In 1706, John Machin introduced a rapidly converging formula for the calculation of pi. It was π/4= 4 * arc tan (1/5) – arc tan (1/239).

In 1949, it took 70 hours to calculate 2,037 decimal places of pi using ENIAC (Electronic Numeric Integrator and Computer).

A German mathematician, Ludolph van Ceulen, devoted his entire life to calculate the first 35 decimal places of pi.

In 1768, Johann Lambert proved value of Pi is an irrational number and in 1882, Ferdinand Lindemann, a renowned mathematician proved Pi is a transcendental number.

There are people who memorize all the decimal digits of pi. The people make up songs and music based on the digits of pi. There are numerous interesting and fun facts about pi.


Mathematical Pi Song

Interesting Facts about Canada

Life Expectancy
The life expectancy here in Canada according to recent studies show men live to be to the average of 77 years where as the women have a longer life expectancy and live to be around 84 years.Biggest Province
Our biggest province here is Quebec which covers an area over 1,365,128 square kilometres.

Highest Populated Area
Our province with the biggest population is Ontario with an outstanding 12.5 million people. Quebec is the second highest populated area with 7.6 million people.

Canadian Sports Inventor
Did you know that basketball was invented by a Canadian named Dr. James Naismith. Dr. Naismith was originally from a small town in Ontario called “Almonte” in which I grew up. He invented the game while working in Boston with college students.

Canada’s Size
Canada is the second largest country in the world next to Russia. The area size of Canada is a whopping 9,984,670 square kilometres.Immigrants In Canada
A little over 16% of Canada’s population are immigrants which equals to roughly 5.5 million people. The total population of people in Canada is nearly 32 million people if not more.

Boundary Line/Boarder
The boundary line or boarder that separates Canada and the United States is 8890 kilometres long.

Trans-Canada Highway
The Trans-Canada Highway is over 7604 kilometres in length and is the longest national highway in the entire world.

Deepest Lake In Canada
The deepest lake we have here in our country is Great Slave Lake. This lake is located in the Northwest Territories and is a little over 614 metres deep.

Largest City
The largest city here in Canada is Toronto. This city is home to over 5 million people and Toronto residents hold more university educations than any other country in the world.Best City To Live In
According to studies and research, Vancouver in British Columbia is tied with Zurich Switzerland for having the highest quality of life of any other city in the world.

Quality Of Life
According to the United Nations Human Development Index, Canada has got the highest quality of life in the world making it an ideal place to live and raise a family.


Fun facts about Canada

Interesting Facts of Lewis and Clark

Lewis's family had been neighbors and friends with Jefferson for a long time, and Lewis was Jefferson's personal aide. He had also studied navigation. He was 31.Lewis brought along his Newfoundland dog, Seaman, but nobody is sure what happened to him.

Jefferson tried to send explorations 4 times before Lewis and Clark.

Sakakawea (other spelling) was kidnapped by another tribe of Indians when she was a young girl. She was then sold to a French-Canadian fur trader named Charbonneau. He married Sacajawea, and they had a son who was nicknamed Pomp. She was 16 and he was 3 months old.

The whole journey took 2 years 4 months and 10 days

It went for 8,000 miles.

The grizzly bear and the bighorn sheep were discovered on the mission. The grizzly bear made a really big impression on everyone on the exploration.They sent a prairie dog back to Thomas Jefferson.

In total, they found 178 new plants and 122 new species of animals.

When they got back Clark was given the job of Indian agent for the west.

Lewis was made governor of the new Louisiana Territory, but he died soon after.

Clarks slave, York, went with them on the mission. York's father was a slave of Clark's father, so York was willed to Clark. He was the first black person the Indians had ever seen. York was married and wanted to live with his wife, but Clark would not let him. When they got back from the mission York was the only one not compensated for the journey.
The greatest distance traveled in one day was 50 miles when they were on a river going downstream.

The most popular trading items were colorful beads, but they also traded things like scissors, thimbles, and knives.

Frostbite was a common medical problem.

After the people on the expedition tried on the moccasins, they all began wearing them. Sometimes, they had to replace them every couple of days.

Compiled by: Krista Delle Femine

Lewis and Clark: Animated Expedition

Lewis & Clark- Great Journey West National Geographic HD

Interesting Facts about Mount Everest

1. Everest was formed 60 million years ago

2. It is the highest mountain in the world at 29,035 feet, although its exact height is often disputed
3. George Everest, Surveyor General of India from 1830 to 1843, discovered Everest in 1841.

4. In 1865 the mountain was renamed in his honour from its original name of Peak XV

5. Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to conquer Everest, on May 19 1953

6. It is almost 28 times the size of the Burj Al Arab, and will be 12.5 times the height of the Burj Dubai tower

7. Everest lies between Nepal and Tibet and climbers can scale the mountain from either side

8. It rises a few millimetres each year due to geological forces

9. Over 2000 people have reached the top of Everest

10. There are around 120 dead bodies of climbers on the mountain

11. Avalanches are the greatest cause of death for climbers scaling Everest

12. The summit is just below the cruising height of a jet

13. The youngest person to reach summit was 13 and the oldest 70

14. In Nepal the mountain is called Sagarmatha, meaning 'forehead of the sky'.

15. In Tibetan the mountain is known as Chomolangma for 'mother of the universe'

Death zone:

Above 25,000 feet, the air at Everest holds only a third of oxygen of sea level. This results in an increased chance of hypothermia, frostbite, high-altitude pulmonary, when lungs fill with fluid, and high altitude cerebral edema, when the brain swells up.

Even with bottled oxygen climbers experience symptoms such as fatigue, impaired judgment and coordination, headaches, nausea, double vision and sometimes hallucinations. Some experienced climbers have braved conquering Everest without the need of oxygen.


Skiing down Mount Everest

Flight To Mount Everest

Interesting Facts about Penguins

  • Penguins are birds.
  • The name is derived from Welsh terms ‘pen’, meaning head and ‘gwyn’, meaning white.
  • Penguin is an unofficial symbol of the United States Libertarian Party.
  • They mate for life.
  • Linux mascot tux is also a penguin.
  • They are ancient species that appeared 40 million years ago in the Eocene.
  • Penguins don't fly, they swim.
  • Penguins lay eggs.
  • Penguin chicks have fluffy feathers.
  • A group of penguins is called colonies or rookery.
  • They usually move in huge groups.
  • Penguins use their wings for swimming.
  • Penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Some penguins live in Antarctica, Coast of South America, South Africa, Galapagos, Southern Australia and New Zealand.
  • Penguins hunt for fish, squid or shrimp like krill in the oceans to fill their stomach.
  • Most penguins can swim about 15 miles per hour.
  • Penguins have insulating layers of air, skin, and blubber.
  • Penguins have tightly packed feathers that help them to keep warm.
  • Penguins open their feather to feel the cold.
  • There are at least 18 different species of penguins.
  • There may be as many as 100 million penguins in the world.
  • Penguins can be endangered by oil spills, water pollution, and the over harvesting
Penguins Fun Facts
  • Penguins are social creatures.
  • They adapt to various climates.
  • They live in large colonies called rookeries.
  • They waddle when they walk.
  • Penguins are dresses in classic black and white.
  • Penguins communicate with each other through body language.
  • They spend most of their lives in water.
  • They don’t fear humans but are endangered by oil spills, water pollution, and the over harvesting of ocean fish.
  • Their body is insulated with a thick layer of blubber that keeps them warm.
  • They leap out of water while swimming.
  • They can walk faster than humans.
  • They can hold their breath for about 20 minutes under water.
  • They have more feathers per square inch that keeps them warm in frigid waters.
  • They are counter-shaded for camouflage.
  • Baby penguins have soft feathers known as down.
  • They count on their parents for food until they grow up with waterproof juvenile feathers.
  • They pick up stones and store them in their crop. This helps them to float when they are in water.
  • They can control blood flow through fat.
  • Rockhopper penguins have very loud calls.
source: Penguins Facts

Penguins - BBC

King penguins and their young - David Attenborough - BBC wildlife

Do penguins fly?

Interesting Facts about Mexico

  1. The official name of Mexico is Estados Unidos Mexicanos (United Mexican States).
  2. A Mexican tamale called the zacahuil is three feet long and weighs about 150 pounds.
  3. Mexico introduced chocolate, corn, and chilies to the world.
  4. Mexico is home to a very rare rabbit called the volcano rabbit which lives near Mexican volcanoes.
  5. The largest wildcat in North America is the jaguar, which can be found in Mexico's southern jungles.
  6. The first printing press in North America was used in Mexico City in 1539.
  7. The National University of Mexico was founded in 1551 by Charles V of Spain and is the oldest university in North America.
  8. Millions of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico every year from the U.S. and Canada, though logging operations are rapidly destroying their habitat.
  9. The border between Mexico and the United States is the second largest border in the world (only the U.S.-Canadian border is longer).
  10. Mexico is second only to Brazil in the number of Catholic citizens.
  11. The red poinsettia (which the Aztecs called cuetlaxochitl) originated in Mexico and is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States ambassador to Mexico (in the 1820s).
  12. Mexican children do not receive presents on Christmas Day. They receive gifts on January 6, the day on which Mexicans celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
  13. Mexico is located in the “Ring of Fire,” one of the earth’s most violent earthquake and volcano zones.
  14. Mexico City is built over the ruins of a great Aztec city, Tenochtitlan. Because it is built on a lake, Mexico is sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches a year as pumps draw water out for the city’s growing population.
  15. Mexico’s flag is made up three vertical stripes. The left green stripe stand for hope, the middle white stripe represents purity, and the right red stripe represents the blood of the Mexican people. The picture of an eagle eating a snake is based on an Aztec legend (see fact #25).
  16. The Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog and is named for a Mexican state.
  17. Mexico’s size is 756,066 square miles, which is almost three times larger than Texas.
  18. Only ten countries in the world have a larger population than Mexico’s 109,955,400 million people.
  19. Mexico City has the highest elevation and is oldest city in North America. It is also one of the largest cities in the world.
  20. Mexico is the 14th largest country in the world by total area.
  21. Modern Mexicans are a unique blend of many ancient civilizations, including the Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Maya, Aztec, Inca, African, French, and Spanish.
  22. The first great civilization in Mexico were the Olmecs (1400-300 B.C.) who established many cities along the eastern coast of Mexico, sculpted the famous Colossal Heads, and worshipped a mysterious, unnamed god that was part human and part jaguar.
  23. The Zapotec civilization (600 B.C.-A.D. 800) established great cities along southern Mexico and developed the first writing system in the Americas.
  24. One unusual Mayan weapon was a “hornet bomb,” which was an actual hornet’s nest thrown at enemies during battle.
  25. n the fourteenth century, a group of Chichmecas (warrior nomads) called the Aztecs (or Mexicas) settled in Mexico when they saw an eagle (representing the sun) standing on a cactus (a symbol of the heart) clutching a snake (a symbol of the earth or Quetzalcoatl)—an image which is now depicted on the Mexican flag.
  26. Snakes appear repeatedly in Mexican mythology, from the serpent god Kukulcan which can be found the side of the Chichen Itza pyramid to the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl.
  27. The Aztecs adopted human sacrifice from earlier cultures (such as the Olmecs) because they believed the universe would come to an end and the sun would cease to move without human blood. There are many ancient statues of gods sticking out their tongues, such as Huitzilopochtli, which may be a sacred gesture that suggests their thirst for blood.
  28. During an Aztec human sacrifice, five priests, sometimes with their faces painted with different colors, held the sacrificial victims’ arms and legs. The heart, referred to as “precious eagle cactus fruit,” was cut from the live victim and burned on a fire in the temple.
  29. Shells and stones on the Aztecs' ritual blades symbolized the faces of the gods for which the sacrificial hearts were intended. They would sacrifice between 10,000 to 50,000 victims per year. Under the rule of Montezuma II, 12,000 victims were sacrificed in one day.
  30. The Aztecs played ritual ball game known as tlachtli in which the losers were often sacrificed to the gods.
  31. When Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519, the Aztecs believed he was their returning god, Quetzalcoatl and offered him the drink of the gods: hot chocolate.
  32. The descendants of the Aztecs speak a form of the Aztec language called Nahuatl. Many of its words, particularly for types of food, passed into English...such as tomatoes (tomatl), chocolate (chocolatl), and avocados (ahuacatl).
  33. Hernan Cortes and his men brought with them European diseases such as small pox, measles, and tuberculosis for which the Aztecs had no natural resistance. The native population fell from 25 million to less than two million within a century.
  34. Hernan Cortes had a native mistress and able translator Marina (La Malinche). She gave birth to his first son, who is considered the first mestizo (Indian-Spanish).
  35. About 60% of the modern Mexican population is mestizo (Indian-Spanish), 30% is Indian or predominately Indian, 9% is Caucasian, and 1% is other.
  36. Creoles are descendants of the Spanish people who first arrived in Mexico. Now they are the name of Mexico's small population: Caucasian Europeans, Americans, and Canadians.
  37. Mexico remained under Spanish control for nearly 300 years until the Mexican people, led by a priest named Father Hidalgo, rose up against the Spanish on September 16, 1810. Hidalgo is widely considered the father of modern Mexico, and Mexican Independence is celebrated on September 15-16.
  38. Spanish conquerors brought bullfighting to Mexico, which is now the national sport of Mexico. Bullfighting takes place from November to April, and the Plaza Mexico is the largest bullring in the world.
  39. While bullfighting is Mexico's national sport, Futbol (soccer in the U.S.) is currently more popular.
  40. Even though over 50 native tongues are still spoken in rural locations, Spanish is the national language of Mexico. In fact, Mexico is the most populated Spanish-speaking country in the world.
  41. Texas was a Mexican province which declared its independence from Mexico in 1836, resulting in war with the United States (1836-1838).
  42. In 1910, under the guidance of Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, Mexican peasants revolted against the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz to gain equality and land. The civil war lasted 10 years and took the lives over 1 million people.
  43. Before 1958, women could not vote in presidential elections. Women, however, did play an important role in the 1910 revolution, serving as spies, arms smugglers, and soldaderas or soldiers.
  44. In 1994, a group of Mexican peasants and farmers called the Zapatistas (named after Emiliano Zapata) started another revolt to highlight the differences between the rich and poor.
  45. The North Atlantic Free Trade Association (NAFTA) was created in 1994 to encourage trade among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. But NAFTA has largely failed to lift Mexico out of poverty due to Mexico's repeated economic crises, a weak public education system, government corruption, and Mexico's inability to enforce the rule of law.
  46. Actor Anthony Quinn was the first Mexican to win an Academy Award for his role in the 1952 movies Viva Zapata.
  47. The Chichen Itza Pyramid in Mexico was named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

ufo mexico city fact or fake?


Interesting Facts about Johann Sebastian Bach

Born: March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Saxony (Germany)
Died: July 28, 1750, in Leipzig, Saxony (Germany)
Nationality: German
Genre: Baroque
Performed as: Organist, violinist
During the composer's lifetime: Enlightenment thinking flourished. Contemporaries included Isaac Newton, John Locke,
Biographical Outline.
Genealogy: Bach was a member of a seven-generation family of talented composers and instrumentalists.
Choirboy: Grew up surrounded by music and Lutheran church doctrine.
First gigs: Church organist, 1703-08. Appointed concertmaster of the Duke of Weimar’s court orchestra at age 23; hired by the young Prince of Cothen to direct the court orchestra and compose as required in 1717.
Cantor and choirmaster, 1723: Placed in charge of training choirboys and composing/directing weekly cantatas for Leipzig’s four main churches, including the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas’ Church). Was also civic music director and music director for Leipzig University, which had its own church.
Superman: In 1729, Bach took on the direction of Leipzig’s Collegium Musicum, a group of professional musicians that gave weekly concerts. He revised some of his Cothen works and wrote others for this group.
Last decade: In the 1740s, Bach worked on several personal projects, like The Art of Fugue, the completion of the Mass in B Minor, the Goldberg Variations, and The Musical Offering (commemorating his visit with Frederick the Great of Prussia).
Fun Facts
Bach fathered 20 children: only nine of them survived him.
Sons of Bach: Several Bach sons became professional musicians and composers. The most famous were Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach and Johann Christian Bach.
Orphan: Bach was orphaned at age 10 and was raised by an uncle.
Germany only: Although he traveled frequently, Bach never ventured beyond a 150-mile radius of his birthplace, and never left Germany.
Technical expert: Bach was often invited to inspect the mechanics of church organs.
Duel: In his early 20s, Bach pulled a sword on a bassoonist who had accused him of slander.
Jail: Bach spent about a month in jail after showing disrespect to the Duke of Weimar by illegally seeking employment elsewhere.
Third choice: Bach was hired at Leipzig only after Georg Friedrich Telemann and another (now practically forgotten) composer refused the post.
Old-fashioned: By the time of his death, Bach’s fugues and contrapuntal style were out-of-date with the newer, lighter style; his sons referred to him as “old powdered wig.”
In his own words: “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul. If heed is not paid to this, it is not true music but a diabolical bawling and twanging.”
Recommended Biography

Christian Wolff, Johann Sebastian Bach: the Learned Musician (New York, 2000).
Martin Geck, Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work, trans. by John Hargraves (Harcourt, 2006). Musical discussions abound, but they are not overly technical.
Peter Williams, J.S. Bach: A Life in Music (Cambridge, 2007). Scholarly work.
The New Bach Reader: A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents. Arthur Mendel, Christian Wolff, and Hans T. David, editors (W.W. Norton, 1999). Documentary biography. Totally fascinating.
Malcolm Boyd, Bach, 3rd ed. Master Musicians Series (Cambridge, 2001). Universally praised, excellent introduction.
The Cambridge Companion to Bach, John Butt, editor (Cambridge, 1997). The biographical and contextual essays in the first section will interest anybody who wants to know about Bach’s world.

Bach: Ich habe genug / Nancy Argenta
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Jean-Pierre Rampal Sonata Flute & Harpsichord BWV 1020
Johann Sebastian Bach - Cello suite No.1 Prelude in G - Major