Hubble Ultra Deep Field
Hubble Ultra Deep Field
It took the Hubble 400 orbits and 800 exposures to make this image (the original image is much larger). The exposures amounted to about 1 million seconds or 11.3 days of viewing time. The average exposure time was 21 minutes. The Ultra Deep Field's patch of sky is so tiny it would fit inside the largest impact basin that makes up the face on the Moon. Astronomers would need about 50 Ultra Deep Fields to cover the entire Moon. The whole sky contains 12.7 million times more area than the Ultra Deep Field. To observe the entire sky would take almost 1 million years of uninterrupted observing. This image yields a rich harvest of about 10,000 galaxies. Even though there are an unimaginable number of stars in this image (10,000 galaxies times 100 billion stars per galaxy), there are no 2 stars that are exactly alike. God has made each one unique - 1 Corinthians 15:41 “…one star differeth from another star in glory.”

How Many Stars are There?

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.

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:

Psalm 147:4 “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”

Isaiah 40:26 “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.”