by RJS at Jesus Creed:
As far as we can tell, the universe is both infinite and expanding. There are billions and billions of stars … which is an underestimate. There are 100 billion to 400 billion or so stars in the Milky Way (I find different estimates in different sources). And our Milky Way is only one galaxy of many. In fact there appears to be something like 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe, each with its own set of stars. The picture above is a deep space image of galaxies, not of stars. We are now identifying planets around some of the stars in our galaxy. Whether there is life on other planets, in this galaxy or beyond, is something we will probably never know. The closest star is 4 light-years away, our galaxy itself some 100,000 light-years across. The size and complexity of the universe is unfathomable.
The entire post is worth a read and can be accessed here.