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Counting number of stars in Universe

Date: 07 June 2021 Tags: Space

Issue

 NASA-funded CIBER-2 rocket will be launched soon to count the total number of stars in the Universe.

 

Background

Counting of stars in not happening for the first time. The major aim of the mission was to check if any star was missed during previous attempts.

 

Details

  • Scientists have assumed that about 100 million stars exist in each galaxy. This number may be under-estimation. This could vary by a factor of 10 or more.

  • With this estimation, there may be about one hundred quintillion stars in the whole universe. It would mean that for every grain of sand on Earth, there may be more than 10 stars.

  • This calculation makes a mistake of assuming that all stars are present within a galaxy. The CIBER-2 instrument will seek to find such ones.

  • The instrument will be carried outside Earth on a sounding rocket. The instruments will fall back on Earth and can be retrieved later.

 

Counting stars using CIBER-2

  • The instrument will survey a part of sky when it goes outside Earth. It will try to detect extragalactic background light emitted.

  • The device will specifically focus on cosmic infrared background that is part of extragalactic light. Studying infrared background will give scientists idea of number of stars.

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