Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You could feel humble or insignificant

This photograph is from the Hubble Site where you can look at, download (for free) and wonder at the most amazing photographs of space.  The photograph above is of a star forming region and so, yes, those are all stars.   I must confess to not knowing whether they will all have their own entourage of planets to revolve around them.   

My research indicates that scientists estimate the number of stars in the universe as (approximately) 10 to the 22 to 24th power, which for those whose knowledge of exponents is hazy, it is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one septillion.

This is not really that much when compared to the googol which, yes, is how the word 'Google' which we all know and love came to be.   A googol is  1.0 × 10100

I'm not going to write '1' followed by a 100 zeroes;  you can just visualize it.   It was picked by the creators of the company, Google, to signify the vast amounts of data the search engine could produce.   Apparently, despite their  prodigious computer savvy, they were not immune from making spelling mistakes.  Google was not called Googol.   Even geniuses have their small imperfections!

All this is interesting to think about and research but too much can keep you awake at night and cause despair about the insignificance of your own life. After all there are the over 7 billion people in just our small little corner of the Universe known as Earth.   

Or you can choose to believe this version!

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