How Many Stars, Planets, Blackholes, Galaxies, and Nebulas in Our Universe?

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Show Notes


  • Podcast: Found In Space - Science Podcast for Kids and Teens
  • Episode Title: Counting Stars, Planets, and Galaxies
  • Host: Arwen Hubbard
  • Release Date: September 1, 2023
  • Episode Summary: In this episode, host Arwen addresses a stellar question about estimating the number of stars, planets, galaxies, and nebulae in the universe. The episode delves into the complex challenge of counting celestial objects and sheds light on the evolving understanding of the universe's vastness.

1. The Cosmic Puzzle:

  • Introduction to the episode's focus on estimating the quantities of celestial objects.
  • Explanation of the analogy between space exploration and assembling a puzzle.
  • Highlighting the challenge of piecing together the puzzle without knowing the final image.

2. Stars, Planets, and Galaxies:

  • Discussion on the difficulty of determining the exact numbers of stars, planets, and galaxies.
  • Mention of the evolving knowledge with advances in technology and observation.
  • Explanation of how telescopes expanded our understanding of planets beyond those visible to the naked eye.

3. The Mystery of Exoplanets:

  • Introduction to the concept of exoplanets and their discovery using telescopes.
  • Discussion on the limitations of current methods for detecting exoplanets.
  • Mention of the prevalence of large exoplanets close to their stars.

4. Calculating Stellar Numbers:

  • Explanation of methods used to estimate the number of stars in our galaxy.
  • Discussion on counting stars within observable sections of the sky.
  • Mention of using luminosity to estimate the total number of stars.

5. A Crowded Universe:

  • Presentation of the emerging picture of a densely populated universe.
  • Mention of trillions of stars, planets, galaxies, and nebulae.
  • Emphasis on the ongoing work of space scientists, particularly astronomers, to uncover the universe's secrets.


  • Recap of the exploration into the estimation of celestial objects.
  • Gratitude for the insightful question and to the listeners for engaging in space and science discussions.
  • Encouragement for listeners to submit their questions and topics for future episodes.
  • Farewell message, inviting listeners to stay curious and embrace the mysteries of the universe.