That’s the number of stars – 300 sextillion – scientists now estimate to be in the observable Universe.
The research, led by Yale astronomer Pieter van Dokkum, is being published by the journal Nature. In an interview with Space.com, von Dokkum said the findings are based on data gathered when the researchers were analyzing “red dwarfs” — stars that are dimmer than our sun and much smaller.
The “faint signatures” of those red dwarfs in eight galaxies “located between about 50 million and 300 million light-years away,” led to the new calculation of how many stars are out there, Space.com writes.
This has also led von Dokkum to speculate that there are likely trillions of Earth-like planets out there. This makes sense given the mundane nature of our solar system. Why wouldn’t there be more planets like ours? And life on those planets? We may be locally rare, but on the scale of the Universe only arrogance could say we’re likely to be exclusive inhabitants.