The Vastness of Space

galaxyWhen I was a kid, I use to look up into the sky at night,and stare in awe of  all the stars I could see.I use to wonder how many there could be.The sky was so big and there was so many points of light(which we know as stars)that it was hard to imagine.Over the years I have been so fascinated with this,I took it upon myself to learn a few things about whats out there and how huge it is.First of all,we are part of a solar system,meaning we revolve around our sun.The distance between us and our star is roughly 93 million miles and our solar system stretches out to around 8 billion miles.This in itself is a huge number,but it is very small in the comic scheme of things.Our solar system is a small speck in a much larger collection of solar systems called a galaxy,and the galaxy we reside in is called the”Milkyway Galaxy”.There are over a hundred billion stars in this galaxy,and an estimated hundred billion galaxies in the universe.

To somewhat get a grip on the distances that I’m talking about,the vastness of it all,let me explain:Scientist measure the distances between stars and galaxies in light years.A light year is the distance that light travels in a year,and since light travels at a speed of  186,000 miles per second(which is very fast),this is an incomprehensible distance.Can you imagine the distance traveled in just one minute?That is 186,000 miles times 60.Now imagine a year.To see where I’m going with this,take our small galaxy,one of billions out there and measure it.Scientist have estimated that if you start at one side of our galaxy,and traveled to the other side at the speed of light,it would take you 100,000 years to get across.This distance is unimaginable and too large for me to figure out,much less write down.Think of it,the galaxy we exist in is just a tiny dot in a sea of billions of other galaxies in the universe.When I was a kid looking up into the beauty and awe of the night sky,I truly had no idea of how small we really are,of how vast the universe really was.


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