A Small Part of the Universe

This is the most awe-inspiring video I have ever seen. Words escape me.

There are about 400,000 galaxies in this animation. They are in their actual, real positions. The imaginary camera moves around to provide different viewpoints with impossible speed.

Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, contains an estimated 100 billion stars. Most recent estimates are that such a galaxy also has about 100 billion planets, roughly one per star on average. The Milky Way has an approximate diameter of 100,000 light years. This means light takes 100,000 years to go from one end of it to the other.

Every one of these dots in this video is such a galaxy. Some of them smaller than ours, some of them much larger. Each one of them has 100 billion stars, give or take.

Awe is too small an emotion. I have goosebumps.

One thought on “A Small Part of the Universe

  1. Made me think of one of my favorite readings from the UU hymnal:

    Out of the Stars

    by Robert Weston

    Out of the stars in their flight, out of the dust of eternity,
    here have we come,
    Stardust and sunlight,
    mingling through time and through space.

    Out of the stars have we come,
    up from time.
    Out of the stars have we come.

    Time out of time before time
    in the vastness of space,
    earth spun to orbit the sun,
    Earth with the thunder of mountains newborn,
    the boiling of seas.

    Earth warmed by sun, lit by sunlight;
    This is our home;
    Out of the stars have we come.

    Mystery hidden in mystery,
    back through all time;
    Mystery rising from rocks
    in the storm and the sea.

    Out of the stars, rising from rocks
    and the sea,
    kindled by sunlight on earth,
    arose life.

    Ponder this thing in your heart,
    life up from sea:
    Eyes to behold, throats to sing,
    mates to love.

    Life from the sea, warmed by sun,
    washed by rain,
    life from within, giving birth,
    rose to love.

    This is the wonder of time;
    this is the marvel of space;
    out of the stars swung the earth;
    life upon earth rose to love.

    This is the marvel of life,
    rising to see and to know;
    Out of your heart, cry wonder:
    sing that we live.

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