Occasionally the immensity of the universe is laid bare in a single statistic. There are more than 200 billion stars in our galaxy. You could name a star in our galaxy for EVERY PERSON on the earth and you’d still leave 97% of our galaxy unnamed.
Now do we know the exact number of stars in the galaxy? No, and for two primary 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 would never even cross the one percentile threshold.
Consider this simple math: The average human lifespan takes place over a span of 80 years, give or take. Okay, 80 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 One Hundred and First Century (say, around year 10,016) before you finished simply COUNTING them.