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Occasionally the immensity of the universe is laid bare in a single statistic.  The number of stars in our galaxy is estimated between 100 and 250 billion.  Why such a wide discrepancy?  Two reasons… (1) not all can be seen from our position in the galaxy, and (2) frankly, if you were to dedicate your entire life — night and day without break —  to counting the stars in our galaxy, you’d never even cross the one percentile threshold.

This is simple math:  The average human lifespan takes place over a span of 80 years, give or take.  Eighty years breaks down to exactly two-and-a-half billion seconds.  If you were to count all the stars in our galaxy — one second at a time — you would be counting for nearly 8000 years, nonstop.  One second = one star; 250 billion seconds = 8000 years.  Counting the stars of our galaxy would be a commitment of nearly 100 lifetimes.  Just to be clear, we’re not talking about visiting any of these stars… if indeed the number of stars is closer to that higher end of the estimate, it would be the year 10,015 before you finished simply COUNTING them.

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