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Universe

Have you ever wondered where exactly in the universe our planet is?

In centuries gone by, early scientists thought that the Sun revolved around the Earth, and that the Earth was actually the centre of the universe. It’s quite the opposite actually. We have since discovered that the Earth revolves around the Sun, like all other planets in our neighbourhood. And while we now know that the Earth is in fact not the centre of the universe, we understand now where in the universe we actually are. Well kind of. Let’s explain…

Through study over many years, we now can understand better where exactly in the universe planet Earth is.

The universe is so big, and is ever expanding, so we have to keep looking at where we are in this great universe, as everything moves and shifts so fast. So how we measure where we are is based on what is called the ‘Observable Universe’

We start with our own ‘Solar System’ that is made up of our very own Star. ‘The Sun’ and the 8 planets that make up the solar system which includes Earth.

Solar Syatem
Our place in the Universe – Solar System

Next we move to our ‘Sun’s Neighbours’ which are the nearest stars to our solar system. This area is naturally made up a millions of stars that are observable from the Earth. This area is roughly 20 Light-Years across.

Sun’s Neighbours
Facts for kids about Sun’s Neighbours – Solar System

Next up is our very own Galaxy that the Earth, sun and solar system are placed in. Our own galaxy is made up of about 200 million stars and is 250,000 Light-Years across.

Galaxy
Facts for kids about Galaxy

Next after our galaxy and where it sits in the universe is the ‘Local Group’ This area in the universe is made up of a number of galaxies, including our nearest galaxy which is called ‘Andromeda’ This area is 3 million Light-Years across.

Andromeda
Facts for kids about Local Group – Andromeda

And finally we move onto the ‘Super Clusters’ which make up the observable universe which gives us a visualisation of where we are in the universe. This area is a massive 75 million Light-Years across. Now that is impressive!

Super Clusters
Facts for kids about Super Clusters

So, you can start to understand in some way where our planet sits in this massive space that we call the universe.

Fun Facts for Kids Even though the universe is always expanding, our galaxy and our closest galaxy are actually on a collision course, where they will eventually form one larger galaxy. And then, again over millions of years will split apart and move away from each other.
Question: How many Light-Years across is the sun’s neighbours? Answer. 20 Light-Years
Question: How many Light-Years across is the Milky Way? Answer. 250,000 Light-Years
Question: How many Light-Years across is the Local Group?Answer. 3 Million Light-Years
Question: How many Light-Years across is the Super Cluster? Answer. 75 Million Light-Years
Fun Facts for Kids Scientists estimate that there are around 150 billion Stars born each year.

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