how big is our universehome-download pdf-print-friendly pdf-credits
image eight telescope image

how far

- the sun
and planets


- across the
milky way



the distant

- how far
can we see
- how big is
the universe

point of view image
try this: picturing your local universe

Is the view from your window typical of planet Earth?

Is there any thing that would suggest the Earth is flat or round?

Is there anything that gives you a clue that the larger world may be very different?


how big is the universe

No one knows if the universe is infinitely large, or even if ours is the only universe there is.

Although our view of the universe is limited, our imaginations are not. Astronomers have indirect evidence that the universe of galaxies extends far beyond the region we can see. But no one knows if the whole universe is infinitely large - large beyond limit.

According to the leading theories, other parts of the universe may look very different from our own - and may even have different laws of nature. We may never be able to find out for sure. But it is possible that clues to the answer lie in plain view, just waiting to be discovered!

The Future. NASA's LISA mission will look for ripples in the fabric of space, predicted by Albert Einstein. Such clues may help refine theories about what the rest of the universe is like.

ABOVE: New telescopes on Earth and in space will continue to expand our view of this magnificent universe.