Time for some nerd thinking. 🙂

Between Sept 2003 and January of 2004 the Hubble Space Telescope looked at a very small piece of the sky, an area roughly 1mm x 1mm at arms length. This constitutes roughly 1/13,000,000 of the sky. In this tiny little piece of sky, which was picked because it’s one of the darkest and thought to be fairly empty, well, it turned out there was over 10,000 galaxies in this empty little piece of sky. Yes, 10,000 Galaxies.

Hubble Ultra Deep Field

So, let’s do a bit of math for fun.

Galaxies in pic = 10,000

Area of pic = 1/13,000,000 of total sky

Average number of stars per galaxy = 100,000,000,000 (100 billion to 200 billion)

To get the rough total of stars in the sky all we need to do is multiply

Galaxies in Deep Field x area of sky x number of stars per galaxy.

10,000 x 13,000,000 x 100,000,000,000 = 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars.

That’s a 13 followed by 21 zeros.

So, if we say the odds of life evolving around a star as 1 in a Trillion. Well, that means there are roughly 13 Billion stars with life around them. If we say the universe is 14 billion years old (current thinking) then after the big bang we let things cool for a billion years or so and then we get one star with life somewhere in our universe every year since. That’s a lot of theoretical life out here. 13 Billion stars worth.

Now, around just our little G type star scientists have cataloged over 2 Million distinctly different species. However the estimates are anywhere from 5 million to 10 million different species on Earth. So, we take the middle ground of 5 million times 13 Billion and my head starts to hurt with the possibilities.

Update: All this is because a buddy asked me the other day what the name of that “dark space hubble project” was. I might need to get out more.