After reading our first assignment in the text, I am stunned by the size of the universe. Our book, The Cosmic Perspective, asks us to imagine that there are 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the observable universe. And then there are more beyond that, over 14 billion light years away! Now I’m thinking about how many planets there must be. Let’s just assume the average star has 9 planets orbiting it, like our Sun, if we count Pluto. That would be 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the observable universe alone! Among that many planets, it seems likely that there are some that can support life, which made me think of the beloved character E.T., pictured above. The realization of how vast the universe is has astounded me, but I look forward to investigating it further throughout the semester.