How many stars are there in the Milky Way?
“Billions and billions,” as Carl Sagan often said.
More precisely scientists say, there is a range of 100 to 400 billion, with dark matter accounting for the difference in numbers. Astronomers from the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore estimate there are 70 thousand million million million – or seven followed by 22 zeros – stars visible from the Earth through telescopes. This begs the question, what lies beyond?
Scientists also state there are 10 times more stars than grains of sand in all the world’s deserts, sand traps, play grounds, rivers, streams, and beaches.
Such large numbers are mind boggling, which is why Carl Sagan stuck with billions and billions.
Windmills of our universe
The Milky Way Galaxy, astronomers say, resembles a wagon wheel or a windmill, whose diameter is 100,000 light-years and thickness is 10,000 light-years. Our Earth is about 30,000 light-years from the center of this ever spinning windmill.
Is the Milky Way expanding or contraction?
The universe expands. It has been doing so since the Big Bang began, roughly 14 billion years ago. On the other hand, it is hard to tell about the Milky Way. Momentum pushes the stars out, and the gravitational force of the center pulls stars back, much like the sun and planets in our solar system.
When Galaxies collide…
Our Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy will collide – in about 4 billion years. The vast space between stars makes it unlikely actual collisions will take place, but the forces in the universe will be disturbed, as gravity meets gravity, and space and time are reshaped.
The sun is a small speck in the Milky Way
The sun is a small speck in the Milky Way, but that isn’t the half of it. More accurately one should say, the billionth of it. We are only beginning to get a handle on counting the number of galaxies in the universe.
In the meantime …
In the meantime, we are billions and billions of individuals like Adele looking for someone to share this mysterious thing we call life and love.
I heard that you’re settled down
That you found a girl and you’re married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.
Should things not work out, we say:
Never mind, I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best for you too
Don’t forget me, I beg
I’ll remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”