What is our place in the Universe?

The Earth is a small rocky world orbiting an inconspicuous star on the outskirts of one of the few hundred billion galaxies in the Universe.

Over the past centuries, astronomers have defined our place in the wider Universe. Space is filled with a few hundred billion galaxies, grouped into vast clusters and even larger superclusters. Our own Milky Way galaxy contains a few hundred billion stars, with a wide variety of sizes, masses and colours. The Sun is just an average star, orbited by a handful of tiny planets. One of those planets is the Earth – the cradle of humanity. This speck of cosmic dust is where all of society’s history has played out.

The Universe is a very big place. Our star – the Sun – is one of several hundred billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our planet is just one of many that we have found so far.