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10 to the 15th power


How much is that, 10^15?  A lot.  A new survey of the universe has been released and a map of that survey is shown above (Dr. Chris Fluke of Swinburne University of Technology).  The map contains 100,000 dots and each dot represents a galaxy.  A galaxy is thought to contain an average of  roughly 100 billion stars each.  So what you are looking at is a representation of a number of stars that is too large to comprehend, 10 to the 15th power.  The volume of what you see is 13 billion billion billion cubic light years.  Uh, that’s a lot.  For a better look:  http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~cfluke/6dF/0001.tga.jpg

This the result of two years of work so far, the goal is 250,000 galaxies mapped.  For the information on how this is being done check out this article: http://asia.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=1981

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