The Universe: How Big Are We, Anyway?

Contributor: Rebecca Highland. Lesson ID: 10377

How big are you? Are you bigger than some of your friends? Are you bigger than the Earth? See how big (or small!) we are by watching videos and making fun projects about the size of the Universe!

categories

Space Science and Astronomy

subject
Science
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

How big is the universe? What can you use to measure it?

Understanding the size of our universe is a difficult task!

Our universe is HUGE. Let's try to put the size of the universe into perspective.

Have you visited a beach? If so, think about all of the sand you saw on the shore. Well, to help you compare the small pieces of sand on the beach to the universe, consider this: There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on the beach! Our sun is actually just a star like the ones you see at night in the sky. Tons of those stars in the sky have little solar systems just like we do. Like we said, the universe is HUGE.

To take a quick trip from Earth to the end of the universe, watch Journey to the end of the universe below:

 

So how can we go about figuring distance in such a huge universe?

We can't use units like feet, meters, or even miles. The closest star to us (our sun) is millions of miles away! To solve this problem, scientists invented a unit called the light-year. A light-year is the distance that light can travel in one year.

For perspective, light from our sun takes about eight minutes to get from the sun to Earth. This means that our sun is eight light-minutes away. Our sun is not even one full light-year away from us! A light-year is about six trillion miles away. Can you imagine that distance?

Watch this video called Spaced Out: Crash Course Kids #25.1:

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