How Many Stars Are

         There in the Universe?

Grains of Sand and Stars in the Universe

         From "Hyperspace", a documentary by the BBC

“For every grain of sand on our entire planet, there are one million stars out there in space.”


Scientists estimate that there are approximately 17 quintillion grains of sand on the planet Earth.

Don’t ask me how they could possibly estimate that, but hey, they’re scientists!

A quintillion is a one with eighteen 0’s after it.


So there are about 17,000,000,000,000,000,000 tiny little grains of sand on our home planet. That’s 17 billion billion.

Another group of scientist (astronomers) estimate that there are 1 million (1,000,000) stars in the universe for EVERY grain of sand on Earth.

That means that there are an estimated  

      17,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the Universe.   

That’s 17 million billion billion stars.  That must be like a gazillion or something.   Actually it’s 17 septillion stars a shining out there, though on a rather clear night one can see probably no more than 2,000 of them with the naked eye. And all of the stars that we see are in our own Milky Way.

I don’t know that that information will help you sleep better at night, but it certainly keeps me awake wondering how someone could possibly estimate how many grains of sand there are on all of the beaches of Hawaii, let alone all the beaches and deserts of the world.

Oh, well, that’s definitely NOT my department.