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How Many Stars Are There in the Universe?

by Kenny Hoeschen

Universe Today publisher Fraser Cain explains just how many stars there are in the universe. With the naked eye and ideal conditions (no moon, dark sky) you can see about 9,000 stars in the night sky. With binoculars you can get to about 200,000 and with a small telescope 15 million. The Milky Way galaxy itself contains an estimated 400 billion stars. Astronomers estimate there to be more than 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe. You end up with 1 x 10^24 stars (that’s 1 septillion stars). Of course, there are stars beyond the observable universe, so you can “add a couple of zeroes” to that number.

As Carl Sagan once phrased it, back in the 1980s, “the total number of stars in the universe is larger than all the grains of sand on all the beaches on planet Earth.”

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