How many moles of stars are in the known universe?
Let's work through a rough calculation of the number of Sun-like stars in the Universe. There are approximately 200 billion Sun-like stars in the Milky Way, and about the same number of galaxies in the observable Universe. So, let's say that the total number of stars in the observable Universe is about (200 billion) x (200 billion), or about 4x10^22 (four times ten to the 22) stars. A mole is defined as 6x10^23 of something, so a mole of stars is 6x10^23 stars. If we compare this number to our estimate of the total number of stars, we find that there is about 1/10 of a mole of stars in the Universe.
Needless to say, although moles are a good unit to use when dealing with atoms and molecules, there are fewer moles of stars in the Universe than you might think...
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
- How does the Earth compare in size to the entire universe at the present epoch?
- Is it possible to count the stars?
- How many stars can I see?
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 30768 times since October 9, 2002.
Last modified: October 9, 2002 9:42:09 AM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)