According to this article, the universe was created 13.8 billion years ago. The oldest light we can observe here on Earth is 13.8 billion years old–light from the Big Bang, or whatever it was. That means that the observable universe has a diameter of 27.6 billion light years. However, this number is constantly expanding. Scientists agree that the universe is expanding, but sometimes disagree at what rate. Based on one calculation, the universe could be have a diameter close to 7 trillion light years, an unimaginably giant space.

If the universe is constantly expanding, and there is no limit to which it can expand, the universe is infinitely large. Scientists are unclear on what shape the universe is–most agree that it is flat, some suggest a sphere, others a donut shape. Either way, if the universe has no end, it can be inferred that there are infinite galaxies with infinite planets (this isn’t going from the article anymore so I’m probably wrong). Anyway, if there are infinite galaxies with infinite planets, I would assume that there is a 100% chance of a planet similar enough to ours that it could sustain and house life, as long as it is possible. An expanding universe also makes me question what it is expanding into. Nothingness? The only way to learn more is to study the light that will reveal what the history of our universe.

CC BY-SA 4.0 How big is the universe? by Sam is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Mia 1 week ago

    Sam, this is such an interesting post. I wonder about the universe sometimes, late at night, and imagine just how much is beyond this little world of ours. How can we possible imagine our universe being 27 lightyears long? It’s mind-blowing to reflect on just how little we are, and how little things really matter in the large scheme of things. That is exactly what makes your post so interesting; so much here is a mystery and we can’t help but be curious. I absolutely love when you say “An expanding universe also makes me question what it is expanding into. Nothingness?” That line gave me butterflies because it is so hard for me to imagine this phenomena. Thank you for re-sparking and interest of space inside me, I cannot wait to read more about it now!
    I know that it is wikipedia, but I think this site would be great for you to read more about its history and ideas about space:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space

  2. Colin 1 week ago

    Sam, this is a great topic due to its lack of information known because it leads to speculation and discussion more than topics that have all sorts of statistics to explain them. This is something I wonder about often as well. If there is an end to the universe, then what is beyond it? I have always thought there were just other dimensions but where would they go? Thinking about this kind of stuff is very interesting but also makes me realize that there is almost no way that we are the only life in the universe due to the vast diversity in planets and all the special environments they can hold. For example, I have heard of a planet that rains glass. This leads me to believe there are planets with other life and it is only a matter of time before we run into one of these planets.

  3. German 1 week ago

    Dear Sam,
    I am enlightened by by your post, ¨How big is the universe?¨ because I am interested by space as well. It is interesting and there is so much we still have to discover about it. I agree with the part that says there is an infinite amount of anything in the universe because we are still getting new light hit the earth every day so it shows us new things. One sentence you wrote that stands out to me was, ¨Based on one calculation, the universe could be have a diameter close to 7 trillion light years, an unimaginably giant space.¨ I think this is fascinating because having a universe this big and not knowing all that is out there we don’t know if there is any life on another planet or if there is any life more intelligent than us. Another sentence that I like from your passage was,¨I would assume that there is a 100% chance of a planet similar enough to ours that it could sustain¨. I think this is really interesting because not knowing means that there is a chance there is maybe not the way we think or it’s shown in sci-fi movies or shows but little single cell life that has yet to evolve. Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because you make some interesting point that can lead to a lot more.

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