Sunday, September 4, 2016

Beyond Earth

Planet Earth is orbiting the sun at 67,000 miles per hour -- it is also rotating on its axis (spinning) at 1,000 miles per hour at the equator.

Our solar system (the sun and its 9 planets) is traveling through space at 515,000 miles per hour.

Our sun is a single star within a galaxy of stars, called the Milky Way.

Our Milky Way galaxy, home of our solar system, is 100,000 light years across -- it would take about 230,000,000 (230 million) years at the speed of light to travel all the way around the outside perimeter of the Milky Way galaxy.

There are about 300,000,000,000 (300 billion) stars within the Milky Way galaxy alone, a modest-sized galaxy compared to most other galaxies in the known universe.

Our known universe contains some 100,000,000,000 (100 billion) galaxies, with each galaxy potentially containing multiple billions of stars.

On a clear night, the average person is able to view approximately 3,000 stars with the naked eye.

On July 22, 2003, CNN News reported that astronomers announced there are 70 sextillion stars in the visible universe.

A sextillion is a 1 followed by 21 zeroes -- that's 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 known stars in the universe, more than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the entire Earth. This is not the total number of stars in the universe -- it's the number within the range of present day telescopes. The true number could be a zillion times higher.

Our single star (the sun) contains 9 planets -- imagine how many potential planets are contained within 70, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000 known stars (other suns).

Keep that in mind the next time you complain about finding a convenient parking spot.

Also, keep that in mind if you assume that Planet Earth is the only spinning orb in the universe that contains intelligent entities, such as human beings, whose intelligence is often highly questionable.

Quote for the Day -- “Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.” Albert Einstein

Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where the universe seems like a fairly large place.

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