I invite you to an experience, a one-minute experience of awe and wonder.
An attempt to take in — to feel and sense —
the incredibly amazing immense enormity of the universe.
It’s nothing short of mind blowing, unless you don’t care.
But if you do care, if you’re curious, follow me,
it will only take a second to get there.
You’ve just traveled 13 billion light years from Earth to a small dark corner of the southern sky.
From Earth, the size of this little piece of space is no larger than a dime.
Yet every speck and smudge you see, large and small, is an entire galaxy!
You’re looking at many hundreds of galaxies, in the space of a dime.
If you’re curious still,
read on for a few fascinating numbers that help reveal to our Earthly minds
the incredible enormity of the universe we live in.
How many galaxies are there in the observable universe?
100 billion galaxies, according to the current estimate
And how many stars does a galaxy contain?
10 million to 100 trillion stars
How many stars are there in the observable universe?
When they put all the numbers together,
astronomers estimate that there are as many as 1024 stars in the universe.
How long is a light year?
1 light year = 6,000,000,000 miles (6 trillion)
13 billion light years = 78,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles
2 light seconds = distance to the Moon
8 light minutes = distance to the Sun
Photo credit: This extraordinary image of deep space is an untouched piece of a larger photograph captured by the Hubble Space Telescope during 2003 and 2004. Image courtesy of NASA/ ESA/ S. Beckwith (STScI)/ HUDF Team. Below is the larger Hubble image. Click on the image to see it enlarged.