The Mysterious Universe

Radical 2018, Inter college Fest, Women’s Christian College, Chennai 22.2. 2018

When a group of astrophysicists attempted the impossible, to calculate the span of the universe, they discovered that the visible universe seems to stretch out at least 24 gigaparsecs in all directions. That’s a radius of 78 billion light-years (1 parsec is a distance of 3.26 light-years). A beam of light can go around the earth seven times in one second. But, even though light travels so fast (186,000 miles per second), it takes about 100,000 years to traverse from one end of our Milky Way galaxy to the other. Now try to wrap your mind around how vast our universe is. This immensity explains why, on the way home on the Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong said, “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”