Though we may believe otherwise, we are only starting to explore the very edges of our Universe. The size and scale of the universe are beyond our imagination. It is said to be infinite. The stars in the universe outnumber the grains of sand on earth. Our galaxy alone has 300 billion stars and right next door, Andromeda, has more than a trillion. The universe has 100 billion galaxies, huge chunks of which we can’t see. In fact, scientists estimate that we can detect just 4% of the stars and planets that make up our Universe. This infographic gives us a bird’s eye view of its sheer size and splendor.
As large as the Universe is, it grows by the day with galaxies moving further and further apart. This is believed to be caused by a mysterious force called dark energy.
The universe is 13.7 billion years old. Amazingly, when we look at it through the Hubble telescope, we look back in time. We have traveled back in this way by as much as 13 billion years.
With so many stars and planets, surely ours can’t be the only habitable planet. Scientists believe that there could be as many as 500 million planets on which life could prosper. Planets that fall within the habitable zone are known as Goldilocks Planets, neither too hot nor too cold. This is where scientists look for proof of extra-terrestrial life. Perhaps one day they will find it.