How Many Galaxies Can We See? The Facts Explained

When you look up at the night sky, through the veil of stars and the plane of the Milky Way nearby, you can’t help but feel small compared to the vast abyss that lies beyond. How many galaxies can we see?

The naked eye can see objects with an apparent magnitude of 8.0 under ideal conditions. This exposes around 43,197 sky objects. When looking up towards the sky, you may notice nine galaxies and roughly 13 nebulae visible to the naked eye.

Our observable Universe, which extends tens of billions of light years in all directions, contains a breathtakingly vast number of galaxies, nearly all of which are invisible to our sight. Continue reading to discover exciting facts surrounding galaxies.

Watch the video to learn more.

Galaxy Formation

Galaxies originate from vast gas clouds that collapse and revolve. Within them, stars form as they evolve. The collision of entire galaxies can alter their appearance. When we peer into the depths of space, we can observe galaxies at earlier stages of their existence and learn more about their evolution.

Largest Galaxy Ever Discovered

The largest galaxy yet identified in our universe is IC 1101, a supergiant elliptical galaxy. This galaxy contains well over 100 trillion stars and has a diameter of over 5,500,000 light-years.

Is The Milky Way A Large Galaxy?

The Milky Way has average size for galaxies. It has a diameter of 105,700 light-years and contains at least 100 billion planets and approximately 400 billion stars.IC 1101 is over 50 times the size of the Milky Way. It spans around 5.5 million light-years in width. There may be billions of stars and planets in this galaxy.

How Many Galaxies Are There In The Milky Way?

The satellite galaxies of the Milky Way include the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The Milky Way contains approximately fifty galaxies, the largest of which is the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The diameter of this satellite galaxy is only 14,000 light-years. The Large Magellanic Cloud could contain up to 10 billion stars. In roughly 2.4 billion years, this dwarf galaxy will collide with our Milky Way.

Can Humans Travel To Another Galaxy?

Humans could travel to other galaxies, but the necessary technology would radically differ from what it is today. Galaxies are separated by thousands or even millions of light-years; the distance is practically incomprehensible. The technology necessary for interstellar travel is considerably beyond our current capabilities.

How Many Universes Are There?

Currently, we are only aware of a single universe, which is the one in which we exist. The possibility exists that there are other universes, but we are still in the process of researching our own before searching for others. Deciphering our own universe is the key to discovering whether there are other universes in the cosmos.

Eight Facts About Milky Way

It’s Warped

The Milky Way is a disc with a diameter of around 120,000 light-years and a central bulge of approximately 12,000 light-years. The disc is not perfectly flat, however, because the large and small Magellanic clouds twist it. These two galaxies have been playing tug-of-war with the stuff in our galaxy.

It Has An Invisible Halo

Approximately 90% of our galaxy is composed of dark matter, which cannot be seen, and 10% of “luminous matter,” or visible stuff. Simulations of the Milky Way’s rotation have indicated that a substantial amount of dark matter produces an invisible halo. 

If dark matter did not exist, then these stars would orbit far more slowly than seen.

It’s Really Dusty And Gassy

About 10 to 15 percent of the Milky Way’s observable matter consists of dust and gas, with the remainder consisting of stars. On a clear night, the Milky Way’s dusty ring is visible in the night sky.

We Cannot Picture It

Since we are around 26,000 light years from the core of the Milky Way, we cannot photograph the disc. Any depiction of our galaxy you have ever seen is either a different spiral galaxy or an artist’s interpretation of what it may look like.

A Massive Black Hole Exists At The Centre

Like most large galaxies, the Milky Way has a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. This black hole is predicted to have a diameter of 14 million miles, which does not include the mass disc that is being sucked into it. This outer disc has almost 14,600,000,000 times the mass of the Sun in an orbit equal to that of Earth!

It Was Made From Other Galaxies

Throughout its history, the Milky Way has absorbed other galaxies in order to attain its current size and shape. Currently, our galaxy is swallowing the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy by incorporating its stars into its own spiral.

It’s Almost As Old As The Universe Itself

According to scientists, the Universe is around 13.7 billion years old, and the Milky Way is approximately 13.6 billion years old. Although the primary galaxy components developed in the early universe, the galaxy’s disc and bulge did not fully form until approximately 10 to 12 billion years ago.

It’s On The Move

Everything in space is in motion, including the Milky Way. The Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun orbits the Milky Way, and the Milky Way traverses space. The radiation left over from the Big Bang, the Cosmic Microwave Background, is used as a reference point to estimate the velocity of objects travelling through space.

It is thought that the local group of galaxies, of which the Milky Way is a component, is travelling at around 600 km/s or 2.2 million km/h!


Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is merely one among these innumerable galaxies, and it’s not even considered a large one. It has a diameter of 105,700 light-years and contains at least 100 billion planets and approximately 400 billion stars. 

The Milky Way contains between 4 billion, 100 billion, and 300 billion stars. Around 8,479 are visible from Earth

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