The Universe contains everything that exists, including space, time and matter. It is mostly empty space, with clumps of stars and gas separated by huge voids, and in between the galaxies and clusters of galaxies you would have to travel for a very long way to even find a single atom.
The distances between the galaxies and clusters are increasing all the time as the Universe is expanding. The Universe is thought to be about 15 billion years old.
Click on the links below to find out more about the Universe. There are 2 further links added to the bottom of this page, in purple. They are a more advanced look at the latest results in cosmology, and do not form part of the National Curriculum.
Authors: Carolyn Brinkworth and Claire Thomas
Last updated: July 2001