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Estimation based on critical density
As noted in the previous section, since the universe seems to be close to spatially flat, this
suggests the density is close to the critical density, estimated above at 9.30×10
−27
kg/m
3
.
Multiplying this by (A) the estimated volume of the visible universe (3.38×10
80
m
3
) gives a total
mass for the visible universe of 3.14×10
54
kg, while multiplying by (B) the estimated volume of
the observable universe (3.60×10
80
m
3
) gives a total mass for the observable universe of
3.35×10
54
kg. The WMAP 7year results estimate that 4.56% of the universe's mass is made up of
normal atoms,
[17]
so this would give an estimate (A) of 1.43×10
53
kg, or (B) 1.53×10
53
kg, for all
the atoms in the observable universe. The fraction of these atoms that make up stars is probably
less than 10%.
[48]
Estimation based on the measured stellar density
One way to calculate the mass of the visible matter which makes up the observable universe is to
assume a mean stellar mass and to multiply that by an estimate of the number of stars in the
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
 Fall '10
 EmilyHoward
 Astronomy

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