Some people say they feel “panic” when pondering the vastness of outer space. Others say they feel comforted. Image via Stijn Dijkstra/EyeEm via Getty Images.
Jack Singal, University of Richmond
What is beyond outer space? – Siah, age 11, Fremont, California
Right above you is the sky – or as scientists would call it, the atmosphere. It extends about 20 miles (32 km) above the Earth. Floating around the atmosphere is a mixture of molecules – tiny bits of air so small you take in billions of them every time you breathe.
Above the atmosphere is space. It’s called that because it has far fewer molecules, with lots of empty space between them.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel to outer space – and then keep going? What would you find? Scientists like me are able to explain a lot of what you’d see. But there are some things we don’t know yet, like whether space just goes on forever.
Planets, stars and galaxies
At the beginning of your trip through space, you might recognize some of the sights. The Earth is part of a group of planets that all orbit the sun – with ...