there are billions of stars in space


SCIENCE — Earth and Space

Have You Ever Wondered...

  • How many stars are in the universe?
  • How many galaxies are there in the universe?
  • What is the most common type of star in the universe?

Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Kayla. Kayla Wonders, “How many stars are there?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Kayla!

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Have you ever stared up at the stars in the night sky and wondered how many there are? If ví, you're not alone. That question has fascinated astronomers, artists, and dreamers of all ages since the beginning of human history.

Famous astronomer Carl Sagan once estimated that there must be “billions upon billions" of stars in the universe. If you've ever tried đồ sộ count the stars in the night sky, you may have concluded that it would be impossible đồ sộ count them all.

Guess what? You'd be absolutely right!

Before we get đồ sộ the mind-boggling estimates that modern astronomers have made, let's start “small" and get some perspective. We live on planet Earth, which orbits around a star we gọi the Sun.

The Earth and the Sun, along with several other planets, làm đẹp a solar system, which is part of a larger grouping of stars called a "galaxy."

Our particular galaxy is known as the Milky Way. Scientists estimate that there are 200 billion đồ sộ 400 billion — yes, that's billion with a “b" — stars in the Milky Way galaxy. The Sun is just one of those 200 billion đồ sộ 400 billion stars.

If that blows your mind, just wait! Our Milky Way galaxy is just one of the many galaxies in our universe.

How many? Believe it or not, astronomers estimate there are 100 billion đồ sộ 200 billion galaxies in the universe, each of which has hundreds of billions of stars.

If your mind is reeling, that's OK. It's hard for most people đồ sộ imagine the size of the universe. So how many stars are there? In truth, there are too many đồ sộ count. Current estimates are just guesses.

Even using our most advanced telescopes and technology, we still cannot see đồ sộ the ends of our universe. Further complicating things, closer stars that are particularly bright also block our ability đồ sộ see beyond them in certain directions.

Scientists use observations and data we vì thế have, along with assumptions about our galaxy and the other galaxies in the universe, đồ sộ estimate the number of stars. Recently, though, some scientists challenged some of the assumptions scientists have been using for years.

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The result? Scientists now believe there may be three times more stars kêu ca scientists previously estimated.

Why? Astronomers now believe there may be many more red dwarf stars — the most common type of star in the universe — kêu ca previously thought.

Based on the latest estimates, astronomers estimate our universe could be the trang chính đồ sộ 300 sextillion stars. Just how many is that? This many:


That's a 3 with 23 zeroes after it. Any way you look at it, that's a lot of stars. As technology improves and we get even better glimpses at the far corners of the universe, we may eventually find that the number of stars is even greater kêu ca anyone could ever imagine!

Wonder What's Next?

Join us in Wonderopolis tomorrow as we exercise our right đồ sộ miễn phí speech!

Try It Out

Are you ready đồ sộ stargaze? Find a friend or family thành viên đồ sộ help you kiểm tra out the following activities:

  • There's no better way đồ sộ get an appreciation for the size of the universe kêu ca heading outside after sundown for a little stargazing. Instead of counting the stars, though, try finding some of the constellations. You can print out a sky map đồ sộ help you.
  • If the conditions outside aren't quite right for stargazing or if you simply want đồ sộ practice indoors first, try this fun Constellation Hunt online game! After a bit of practice recognizing constellations, you can take your skills outdoors.
  • Can you wrap your mind around the sheer size of a number lượt thích 300 sextillion? What other things might there be that approach that kind of number? Think about how far away Earth is from the Sun. Then think about how far away the next nearest star is. Finally, try đồ sộ think about the size of a universe that could contain 300 sextillion stars!

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Wonder Contributors

We’d lượt thích đồ sộ thank:

andrew, Azra from FL, Tarquin from SC, kylie from MO and Colton
for contributing questions about today’s Wonder topic!

Xem thêm: nhật bản thuộc khu vực nào của châu á

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