What distinguishes the galaxy from the universe?

«…You can watch endlessly on three things: fire, water, and starry sky.» This is a classic statement belongs to the category of axioms and does not require proof. But if fire and water cause people in different situations, different emotions, a huge star tent we all have generally the same feelings of rapture, peace and understanding how shallow all of our problems compared to the shining and limitless world that stretches over the head.

With the knowledge obtained at school, we understand that we see above a single star like our Sun, entire star systems, our Galaxy, the Universe, in the end. However, despite the relatively high level of education of modern man, many do not quite understand correctly the difference between a galaxy from the universe. Let’s try to deal with this issue, the more it is quite simple.

The content of the article

Galaxy, our starry home

Clusters of star systems, linked by gravity is called a galaxy. This is the most primitive description of this phenomenon, but at the same time, most accurately reflects its essence. Galaxy may not be very large, consisting of several billion stars, but there are giant monsters, including trillions of stars.

As example, a dwarf galaxy called the Small Magellanic cloud (1.5 billion stars) and megobroba – spiral galaxy with a faceless name NGC 6872. The exact number of stars to count in it is difficult because of the huge size, but that account number in the trillions, no doubt.

In order to more clearly imagine the immensity of this monster, you can compare it with our large cosmic home, the Milky Way (the galaxy is the Solar system):

  • the size of the milky Way is 100-120 thousand light years in diameter and it is also considered not a small entity;
  • circling the galaxy NGC 6872 the same route is no less 500 thousand light years.

By the way, many galaxies are also linked to gravity and live (rotate) in a single rhythm. In our cluster of galaxies in addition we present Andromeda (diameter of 200 thousand light years), the galaxy of the Triangle (50 thousand light years) and a number of satellite formations, the so-called dwarf galaxies.

So, with the galaxies a bit sorted out. Now, to understand what is the difference of the galaxy from the universe, we should talk about the universe itself.

to content ↑universe… the Unfathomable abyss

Briefly: the universe is an infinite amount of space filled with stars, star systems, galaxies, black holes, emptiness, etc. And, quite possibly, it has a lot of different objects, phenomena, about which modern science does not even know. All this diversity is in constant motion and lives of their own, sometimes incomprehensible to us.

When you look at the night sky, it seems that it is just Packed with stars. Pictures taken using the most powerful telescope in the world the Hubble, seems to confirm this impression. And the last, the astronomers showed that the universe there are at least 100-200 billion galaxies, and according to some – more than $ 500 billion. However, all of these star clusters is infinitely alone in the boundless universe. They are often shared by such great distances that the human mind simply can not afford to provide them.

The universe formed after the Big Bang, and therefore has its age, although has no boundaries. According to the latest data, the age of the mother of all that is in space is calculated 13,75±0,13 billion years. However, many serious scientists believe that the universe is eternal, has always existed, and no Large Explosions was not in sight. But let’s leave the scientific debate «specially trained people» and move on to the main point of our article.

to table of contents ↑the Difference between galaxy and universe

Now bring together what we have learned from previous material. Try to determine the differences between these two objects. They are few, but they are quite substantial.


The universe

A huge, single entity that has no analogues in duplicate, or at least something similar
A major element of the universe, repeated in different variations of hundreds of billions of times

Has no boundaries in space and, according to one hypothesis, in time
Each galaxy has its own size, no matter how extensive they may be. Any galaxy definitely has its own age. No options

In the table we have identified the main, in our opinion, moments, showing, what is the difference between galaxy and universe. Figuratively speaking, the universe can be thought of as extravagant a house composed of blocks, each of which differs from the neighbor weight, size, and physical properties (theoretical). However, despite such «confusion», the whole design looks surprisingly harmoniously and firmly. It is subject to a single, «universal» laws, immutable and eternal.

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