Friday, October 30, 2009

How many stars are in the universe?

Answers.com answers:
Based on current estimates, there are between 200 - 400 billion stars in our galaxy (The Milky Way). There are possibly 100 billion galaxies in the Universe. So taking the average of our galaxy, gives approximately 3 x 1024 stars. So about 3 septillion. This has been equated to the same number of grains of sand that are on Earth.

One source (BBC) stated that there are 1,000 stars to every grain of sand on Earth!!
There are an estimated 100 to 200 billion galaxies.

So taking a conservative number of 100 billion stars per galaxy, gives an approximate total of 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars. (which is 10 sextillion)

Hashem told Avraham:

וַיּוֹצֵא אֹתוֹ הַחוּצָה, וַיֹּאמֶר הַבֶּט-נָא הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וּסְפֹר הַכּוֹכָבִים--אִם-תּוּכַל, לִסְפֹּר אֹתָם; וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ, כֹּה יִהְיֶה זַרְעֶךָ

And He brought him forth abroad, and said: 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to count them'; and He said unto him: 'So shall thy seed be.'


We further find these verses in Devarim:

יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, הִרְבָּה אֶתְכֶם; וְהִנְּכֶם הַיּוֹם, כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם לָרֹב
יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵכֶם, יֹסֵף עֲלֵיכֶם כָּכֶם--אֶלֶף פְּעָמִים; וִיבָרֵךְ אֶתְכֶם, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָכֶם

the LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.--
The LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as He hath promised you!--

Rashi first asks that 600,000 doesn't even come close to the amount of stars! He answers that the verse means that we're compared to the sun and stars only in that we will exist forever just as they do. However, the רא"ם on that Rashi says that that's true in Moshe's time, but in the future, we will actually be as numerous as the stars, as is hinted to by the word "לָרֹב".

On the next verse, Rashi says:

מהו יוסף עליכם ככם אלף פעמים . מהו
שוב ויברך אתכם כאשר דבר לכם אלא אמרו לו למשה אתה נותן קצבה לברכתנו כבר הבטיח הקב״ה את אברהם (בראשית יג) אשר אם יוכל איש למנות וגו׳ אמר להם זו
משלי היא אבל הוא יברך אתכם כאשר דבר לכם


which means that instead of 10 sextillion, Moshe's promise will make us 10 septillion, according to the conservative estimates. According to the other estimates, instead of 3 septillion, we'll be 3 octillion. And that doesn't include Hashem's additional Beracha, which makes it unlimited.

5 Comments:

At Sat Oct 31, 07:40:00 PM 2009, Blogger Neshama said...

But it says "SEED".

Could that mean that each SEED is a potential and not actual? Could this represent, before fertilization, the number of seed (sperm)? Could it also be that all these estimates of STARS is incorrect, and that there is a STAR for every Jew that is born, and when they die, the STAR dies, and this keeps adding and subtracting all the time? Plus does this include the seed of Yishmael?

 
At Sun Nov 01, 09:10:00 AM 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BERACHOT 32B

“[The Congregation of Israel complained to G-d for having forsaken her], The Holy One Blessed is He answered to her: “My daughter, 12 constellations [Mazalot] I created in the firmament, and in every constellation I created for it 30 Chayil and for every Chayil I created for it 30 Ligyon and for every Ligyon I created for it 30 Rachton and for every Rachton I created for it 30 Karton and for every Karton I created for it 30 Gastra and for every Gastra I suspended in it 3,650,000,000 stars corresponding to the days of the Solar year, And all of them I created only for your sake Yet you say “You have forsaken me and abandoned me?”

2 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 3,650,000,00

= 1,064,340,000,000,000,00 =
1 x 10^18

 
At Sun Nov 01, 05:45:00 PM 2009, Blogger Neshama said...

YY looks like we gave you from the 'ridiculous' to the 'sublime' in comments!

 
At Sun Nov 01, 11:45:00 PM 2009, Blogger yaak said...

Neshama, the way that I understand it is these are actual people - not potential people. It does not include Yishma'el, as it says כי ביצחק יקרא בך זרע. It also does not include Eisav, as we learn out ביצחק ולא כל יצחק.

Actually, the anonymous commenter presented the gemara, which is a lower estimate than Answers.com guessed. Thank you for that Gemara which I had forgotten about.

It may sound ridiculous, but Shabbat 30b says that women in the future will give birth every day. So, the math will add up eventually.

 
At Mon Nov 02, 01:56:00 PM 2009, Anonymous Dan - Israeli Uncensored News said...

Could it be that God spoke about the number of visible stars?

 

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