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Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Sally Luxmoore

I heard something today on what is my favourite mind bogglingly exciting astronomy discovery.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00mr37s/Home_Planet_22_09_2009/

(Apologies to those not in the UK - BBC i-player is unavailable to you, I think)

Approx two thirds of the way through, this science programme dealt with a request from a listener to re-check a 'fact' that he had always loved - that there were more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches and deserts on Earth.

They brought on an astronomer who talked about the kind of maths sampling techniques that had to be used and how this was normal in astronomy - all very interesting - and then she described how a university (Hawaii, I think) had gone through all the calculations.
Not only was the listener's 'fact' not wrong, there are probably 1,000 times MORE stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on earth. I was so thrilled I was bouncing up and down in my seat (in my car, waiting at a red light - yes - the mad woman that everyone should beware of).
It was a great moment and is still making me happy.

Funny that insignificance frightens some people, and thrills others.

Edit - as and for the planets circling all those stars ....

Tue, 22 Sep 2009 22:19:00 UTC | #399998