Are There More Grains of Sand Than Stars?

"I've heard that there are more stars in our Universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. Is this possible?" Awesome question, and a great excuse to do some math. As we learned in a previous video, there are 100 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way and more than 100 billion galaxies in the Universe - maybe as many as 500 billion. If you multiply stars by galaxies, at the low end, you get 10 billion billion stars, or 10 sextillion stars in the Universe - a 1 followed by 22 zeros. At the high end, it's 200 sextillion. These are mind bogglingly huge numbers. How do they compare to the number of grains of sand on the collective beaches of an entire planet? This type of sand measures about a half millimeter across.  You could put 20 grains of sand packed in... read more
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Are There More Grains of Sand Than Stars?