How many stars are known to exist?

On a clear, moonless night about 3,000 stars are visible with the unaided eye. A small telescope will increase the number to around 100,000 stars. But this is just the beginning! The stars we can easily see are all in our corner of the Milky Way Galaxy. The entire galaxy numbers about 100 billion stars. And beyond the Milky Way are other galaxies with many shapes and sizes. Around 100 billion such galaxies are known to exist.

Taking the Milky Way as an average galaxy, the total number of known stars is thus (100 billion)2=(1011)2=1022. These estimated stars number 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, when we write this number out. This figure would be pronounced as “ten billion trillion” stars.

Telescope. Illustration copyrighted.Suppose these stars were divided up among the world's total population of 6 billion people. Then each person on Earth would receive more than 1 trillion stars!

Yet all these stars may be only one page in God's catalog of the heavens. New instruments continue to probe deeper into space, with no end in sight. What an excellent way for the Creator to show his glory!

Whatever the number he has created, God calls all the stars by name, and he keeps count of them (Ps. 147:4; Isa. 40:26).

Author: Dr. Donald B. DeYoung - adapted from Astronomy and the Bible: Questions and Answers, 2nd Edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), 176 pp.