An abridged inventory of everything there is in the universe – from rogue planets and exomoons to supernovae, supermassive black holes and the cosmic web.
27 July 2022
The furthest any human has made it from Earth is just beyond the moon – some 400,000 kilometres away, or 1.3 seconds at light speed. The edge of the observable universe lies 46.5 billion light years away.
Our understanding of the vast expanse of the cosmos is perhaps still in its infancy. Yet thanks to powerful telescopes and some inspired theorising there is already much we can discern about how the universe works and what it contains.
What you’ll find below is a concise guide to everything we know of in the universe, from stars, planets and moons to galaxy clusters, dark energy and more. You will discover hot Jupiters, super-Earths, interstellar space rocks, the biggest stars in the cosmos, including one that could be an alien megastructure (but probably isn’t), supermassive black holes, the universe’s first light and the cosmic web.
You will, in other words, come away knowing a lot more about the incredible diversity of objects and phenomena in the universe than you do now.
Navigate our inventory of the universe
PLANETS AND PLANETARY SYSTEMS
We start close to home. Given the vastness of the universe and the number of stars it contains, it would take a peculiarly blinkered view to believe that our solar system, with its ordered retinue of eight planets, is the only such collection of worlds in our galaxy. Only in the past three decades, however, have our telescopes been able to see planets orbiting other stars, known as exoplanets. We have now discovered more than 5000 of them, and …