Science thoughts on the size of space


A view of a mountain

The space is a vast expanse which makes everything possible. There are galaxies out there, each containing millions and trillions of suns. We might have no idea about the size of the universe, but scientists have been trying to study it for quite a long time now. They have been able to find some interesting facts about the Milky Way Galaxy and our own solar system as well. But what they know so far is just a scratch on the surface of this great mystery called – The Universe. 

Understand to Measure the size of space

A close up of a star in space

We live in a 3D world that bounds us in more ways than one. For ages, humans have tried to figure out their position in this enormous realm by using scientific calculations and logic. But, we still haven’t succeeded in calculating the size of space. There are several reasons for this and one among them is that space is not a physical object which has a definite size or volume we can measure. The other reason why we cannot see the actual size of space is that it’s constantly expanding and growing at an enormous speed.

The first question which comes to mind when talking about ‘size’ is – galaxy? Universe? Or a Solar system? It seems like all three have something in common but they actually don’t! Let us see what separates those apart from each other:

1) The Galaxy

A star filled sky

A galaxy consists of millions and millions of stars orbiting a huge mass of galactic centre or nucleus. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way which consists of more than 200 billion stars! Now, the size here would be measured in light-years (The distance covered by a beam of light in one year). But to get an idea about how vast it actually is, we must consider that all these billions and trillions of stars can easily fit into a sphere with a diameter stretching up to 100 thousand light-years!

2) The Universe

This term mainly refers to everything that exists including the space between galaxies. It’s made up of countless galaxies which are spread across millions of light-years. Some scientists believe that there are at least 50 billion universes out there! Can you imagine? Some people have even claimed that they have seen black holes or space-time disturbances that supposedly lead to the existence of alternate universes.

3) Solar System

The planetary system consisting of the sun and its orbiting bodies, mainly the planets, is called a solar system. The sun is surrounded by 8 planets (Pluto wasn’t considered an official planet until recently). And not to mention all the dwarf planets, asteroids, comets and meteors!

So it can be seen that there are no clear boundaries or limits when it comes to space because it’s just too vast for us to fully comprehend at this moment in time. Whatever we think about space, whether it could have been created by God or if it has existed since eternity – one thing is sure, even after knowing so much about it; we still have miles to go!

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