How Big is the Universe?

Have you ever wondered about the size of the Universe we live in? Well, scientists are in the process of creating the first ever, accurate, 3D map of the Universe – of everything in existence. It has been known for some time that the Universe is expanding, and expanding at an ever-increasing rate. The expansion of the Universe is attributed to an unknown force that has been dubbed Dark Energy – scientist literally have no idea what Dark Energy is, or how it works. But, what is truly mind-boggling is that according to recent research, as far as we (the collective ‘we’; I mean scientists of course) currently understand it, not only is the Universe expanding, it is also infinite in every direction, stretching far beyond what we can see. As explored in the BBC series Horizon.

3D Map of the Universe
3D map of the Universe – How Big is the Universe? (BBC)

One problem with creating the map of the Universe is that, currently we can only see to the edge of what is referred to as the Observable Galaxy – for a sense of scale; the light from the stars at the outer edge of this region has been traveling to Earth since the time of the Big Bang. Beyond the Observable Galaxy is a bigger mystery, and potentially the start of something much, much bigger. Not only is there the possibility of other universes existing, but the existence of an infinite number of universes is also a real possibility, and is something that scientists are currently trying to measure by looking for signs that indicate the interaction of these universes.

Universe 3D Map
3D map of the Universe – How Big is the Universe? (BBC)

This episode explains all of this and more, following scientists as they create the map of the known universe. These programs are only available for a limited time, so be quick. Click here for the full episode (may not be available outside the UK).

The Milky Way
The Milky Way – How Big is the Universe? (BBC)

Horizon is a factual series broadcast on the BBC in the UK (and possibly elsewhere) that explores science and nature.