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How much of the visible universe have we explored?

  1. Apr 5, 2014 #1
    I'd like to know how much of the visible universe we've physically explored. Either with space probes, rovers or in person.

    I know we have a probe around every planet in our own solar system? So given the amount of galaxies, planets our there ect how much of the visible universe have we explored? As a percentage?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2014 #2


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    If you were to be very generous with labeling what we've explored so far, and take the volume of a sphere with the centre at the Sun and the radius equal to how far Voyager 1 has reached(about 125 AU), it would encompass the volume equal to 0.032 cubic light-years.
    The observable universe's radius is estimated at about 45 billion light years, so its total volume would be 3.7*10^32 cubic light years, or 37 with 31 zeroes.
    This makes our solar system as 'explored' by Voyager be a whooping 0.00000000000000000000000000000001 percent of the observable universe.

    But, as mentioned earlier, it's a very generous number. We don't have probes around every planet. We had probes fly by every planet, if that counts. We've landed probes on just a few, and they rarely remained operational for long.

    Bottom line: Earth is a tiny speck in the mind-boggling vastness of space.

    Have a look at this NASA page about Solar System exploration:
    It lists all the missions so far.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
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