How Vast Is Our Universe? It is so vast that it takes a beam of light (which travels some 700 million miles per hour) over 100,000 years just to cover the distance length of our galaxy called the Milky Way. But our galaxy is only one among many billions in the known universe. To illustrate the size of our universe, consider the following four examples: a.paper stack model (1)Let us say the thickness of a sheet of paper represents the distance from the earth to the sun (some ninety-three million miles). (2)To represent the distance to the nearest star we would need a seventy-one-foot high stack of paper. (3)To cover the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy would require a 310-mile high stack. (4)To reach the edge of the known universe would demand a pile of paper sheets thirty-one million miles high. b.orange and grain of sand model (1)Here an orange would represent the sun. (2)A grain of sand is the earth, circling the orange at a distance of thirty feet. (3)Pluto (most remote planet in our solar system) is another grain of sand, circling the orange at ten city blocks away. (4)Alpha Centauri (the nearest star) is 1300 miles away from the orange. c.hollow sun illustration (1)If the sun were hollow, one million, three hundred thousand earths could fit inside. (2)A star named Antares (if hollow) could hold sixty-four million of our suns. (3)In the constellation of Hercules there is a star which could contain 100 million of Antares. (4)The largest known star, Epsilon, could easily swallow up several million stars the size of the one in Hercules! d.the relative speed illustration (1)Our earth is traveling around its own axis at 1000 m.p.h. (2)It moves around the sun at 67,000 m.p.h. (3)It is carried by the sun across our galaxy at a speed of 64,000 m.p.h. (4)It moves in orbit around our galaxy at 481,000 m.p.h. (5)It travels through space at one million, three hundred and fifty thousand m.p.h. (6)Every twenty-four hours we cover 57,360,000 miles. (7)Each year we travel 20,936,400,000 miles across empty space. All the above is, of course, but a feeble attempt to illustrate the magnitude of space and of a universe which contains as many stars as there are grains of sand on all the seashores of the world. Furthermore, in Psalm 147:4 (also Isa. 40:26), we are told that God has both numbered and named each star. "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names" (Ps. 147:4). "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth" (Isa. 40:26). But more glorious than all this is the statement that this same omnipotent and omniscient God "healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds" (Ps. 147:3). "Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite" (Ps. 147:5). How minute is our universe? Simply stated, it is as unbelievably small as it is big. Consider the following: All material in the universe consists of atoms. Atoms in turn are made up of three “building blocks,” which are protons and neutrons (which two go to make up the center of an atom called the nucleus), and electrons (which circle the nucleus as our earth does the sun). On the tip of a ball point pen are so many atoms that if they were carried by an army, marching four abreast, an atom to a man, it would take over 20,000 years for a march-past. It would take 25 trillion protons laid side by side to span a linear inch. There are as many protons in a cubic inch of copper as there are drops of water in the oceans of the world, or grains of sand on the seashores of our earth. The size of an electron is to a dust speck as the dust speck is to the entire earth. The space between an electron and the nucleus is 10,000 times as great as the size of that nucleus. For example, if the outer shell of electrons in an atom were the size of the Houston Astrodome, the nucleus would be the size of a Ping-Pong ball in the center of that stadium. Question: If most of the atom is empty space, why does a table top offer so much resistance when you push at it with your finger? Answer: The surface of the table (like the tip of one’s finger) consists of a wall of electrons, belonging to the outermost layer of atoms in both objects. Both the speed and force attraction of these electrons thus prohibit your finger from going through the table as a fast-moving bicycle wheel would prevent you from placing your finger through the spokes. Thanks Dr.Harold L. Willmington