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There are 200 billion stars in the Milky Way.


Stashed in: The Universe, Stars!

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The object is the Great Attractor.

(Andromeda is only about 2.5mly away, fwiw.)

The Milky Way could have as many as 400 billion stars.

The Milky Way also likely has as many planets as stars:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way

There are at least a septillion stars in the observable universe:

According to astronomers, our Milky Way is an average-sized barred spiral galaxy measuring up to 120,000 light-years across. Our Sun is located about 27,000 light-years from the galactic core in the Orion arm. Astronomers estimate that the Milky Way contains up to 400 billion stars of various sizes and brightness.

A few are supergiants, like Betelgeuse or Rigel. Many more are average-sized stars like our Sun. The vast majority of stars in the Milky Way are red dwarf stars; dim, low mass, with a fraction of the brightness of our Sun.

As we peer through our telescopes, we can see fuzzy patches in the sky which astronomers now know are other galaxies like our Milky Way. These massive structures can contain more or less stars than our own Milky Way.

There are spiral galaxies out there with more than a trillion stars, and giant elliptical galaxies with 100 trillion stars.

And there are tiny dwarf galaxies with a fraction of our number of stars.

So how many galaxies are there?

According to astronomers, there are probably more than 170 billion galaxies in the observable Universe, stretching out into a region of space 13.8 billion light-years away from us in all directions.

And so, if you multiply the number of stars in our galaxy by the number of galaxies in the Universe, you get approximately 1024 stars. That’s a 1 followed by twenty-four zeros.

That’s a septillion stars.

But there could be more than that.

It’s been calculated that the observable Universe is a bubble of space 47 billion years in all directions.

It defines the amount of the Universe that we can see, because that’s how long light has taken to reach us since the Big Bang.

This is a minimum value, the Universe could be much bigger – it’s just that we can’t ever detect those stars because they’re outside the observable Universe. It’s even possible that the Universe is infinite, stretching on forever, with an infinite amount of stars. So add a couple more zeros. Maybe an infinite number of zeroes.

That’s a lot of stars in the Universe.

Additional Resources:

How Many Stars Can you See?

Astronomy Cast: How Big is the Universe?

How Big is Our Observable Universe?

How Many Galaxies in the Universe?

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