Space and the Universe


This image of a Spiral Arm Galaxy represents one of the five hundred billion galaxies in our entire universe.

Did you know that you are actually the center of the universe? According to a man named Edwin Hubble, it’s true! In 1929, Hubble used crazy, mathematical mumbo-jumbo to discover that nebulous objects located mega far away from earth are actually moving farther and farther away from us. His conclusion was that the universe is constantly expanding around a center point, and because the entire universe is expanding, that center point lies wherever the observer stands. This means that wherever you decide to observe the known universe, whether it is at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California or on the surface of Jupiter’s volcanic moon, Io, the universe will always be moving away from you, which defines your position as a center point. So if you are ever struggling for that last little bit to add to your résumé, just fill in “am center of universe” under special skills. I guarantee it will work.

If being the center of the universe has you feeling all high and mighty, and you want to check yourself before you wreck yourself, just look up at the night sky. About six thousand stars can be seen with the unaided eye from the surface of earth, and every single one of them is located within the Milky Way galaxy. While six thousand stars seem pretty substantial, when compared to the total number of stars within the Milky Way galaxy, this measly six thousand becomes a pathetic number. The fact is, in our Milky Way, there are a whopping 300 billion stars, all swirling around a supermassive black hole. Shockingly, this is not where the progression ends. The Milky Way is only ONE of an estimated 500 BILLION galaxies. Did you read that number correctly? 500 billion galaxies. Scientists estimate that the total number of stars in our universe exceeds 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That number that you just read is called a septillion, and it is marked by a one with twenty four zeros following it. The number of stars in the universe exceeds TEN of those septillions. If that doesn’t make you feel small, then I’m sorry, I tried my best. You can go back to being the center of the universe now.

While this may seem like meaningless information, it is actually very important when applied to concepts like homework and procrastination. If you are slaving over a paper that you have to turn in for your English class, just remember, we are only one of ten septillion faint points of light in the universe and, in the grand scheme of things that paper doesn’t really matter at all. Besides, you are the center of the observable universe; you shouldn’t have to be bothered with trivial tasks such as English papers anyway.