Astronomers have found the furthest galaxy from the Earth, this one is 13.3 billion light-years from Earth; meaning that the light from this galaxy has been traveling for just about the entire history of our known universe. Of course this galaxy would no longer exist now; the stars within would have burned out and the galaxy would have dissipated into a cloud of dust and replaced with an entire new galaxy. The edges of the Universe are traveling away from us faster than the speed of light; it is far, far bigger than the 13.7 billion light-years that we can see; more like 90 billion light-years across. That is a staggering size; since a light-year is 9,460,730,47,580800, meters, and the size of the Universe is 90 billion times that number, this gives an idea of the scale of the Universe and since it is constantly expanding; and the expansion is speeding up; it is impossible that we will ever reach the edge of the Universe; something that far away is beyond our reach; even with faster than light travel we could never reach something that far away. In Star Trek Voyager they traveled across most of the Milky Way galaxy; that was 75,000 light-years; but that is nothing compared to the vast gulf of empty space that lays between the galaxies. That is an enormous distance and is beyond our capacity for space travel; we can send a robot probe; but that probe, Voyager 1; will not reach another star until the year 299,000.
That is an indication of the huge distances that are between objects in space. It would take 5.5 hours at the speed of light to reach Pluto, and that is only the edge of the solar system. It would take 100,000 years to cross the whole Milky Way galaxy from one side to the other. Imagine how long it would take to reach the Andromeda galaxy. In fact that distance is 2.54 Million light-years, but the Andromeda galaxy is heading towards us and in billions of years time it collide with our galaxy and change its shape forever. This is due to occur in about 4 billion years; but the Earth will be quite uninhabitable by then due to the expansion of the Sun. The interesting thing about two galaxies colliding is that the super-massive black holes at their center can collide and cause quite an interesting effect when this happens: http://www.universetoday.com/13002/what-happens-when-supermassive-black-holes-collide/. This is an interesting thing to consider; what if a black hole was thrown out and then entered a solar system and destroyed the planets therein due to its cataclysmic duel with another black hole? I mean this would not end well for the inhabitants of that solar system, but that is another thing that could have befallen other planets in the Universe. There could be other star systems with intellectually advanced life living there that are so far away from us that the light from them has not reached us yet.
That is something to consider; some people think that we are alone in the Universe; but it is so big that there must be life on other planets. The Jovian moon Europa could have lifeforms that exist underneath the ice near geothermal vents on the bottom of a massive ocean that lies under 5 miles of ice. That is why we need to send probes to that planet to explore the ocean and look for signs of life under the ice that amours the moon from the vacuum of space. There could be the same lifeforms living on Europa as live on the Earth at the bottom of the ocean near our own geothermal vents that provide warmth and nutrition to the lifeforms that exist next to black smokers. If the same geothermal energy exists on Europa then it could have the same conditions conducive to life. That would mean that intelligent life could exist on planets other than the Earth and we eventually could encounter another civilization that has greater technological progression than our own. How would they regard us when all we do on one hand is blow each other up whilst reaching for the stars with robotic probes and yearning to learn more about the Universe at the same time. But we are very inquisitive beings and we are not satisfied until we have learned all we can about the Universe and all that lays within. Dark Matter is another mystery; it is the cause of the accelerating expansion of the Universe and is well worthy of investigation. If we learn more about the fabric of space itself, then we will understand the Universe even more.
Dark Matter also holds together huge galaxies that should have flown apart due to the speed of the rotation; this is therefore a glue that can hold enormous stellar objects together. This is why the Universe is so amazing; there is something out there that takes up most of the Universe and we can not see it directly, we can only infer its existence through scientific exploration and study of our Universe and how objects behave in space. This is why we need to study space and put more money into scientific study to make sure that the future generations grow up with an interest in space travel and science as well as the other things in life. Rubbish like Jersey Shore; Big Brother and the other reality show rubbish is best left as a minor distraction, not the major headline grabbing stuff that it is at the moment. The news channels are obsessed with the most useless stuff at the moment; the celebrities iniquities are all the rage and the stories that really matter are relegated to a five minute mention. That is what is wrong with the world today; and the advertisements on television feature the dumbest people you can imagine; they are making everyone else dumber and dumber. We are heading towards an Idiocracy. That is a given unless we can change the media and improve literacy and numeracy scores in school and improve the whole education system.
Not to forget that we should have proper educational content on television instead of mindless crud like Ancient Aliens and Swamp People. Discovery Channel used to have actual educational content on it; as did the History Channel, now it is all reality shows and related mind numbing content that is only entertainment and zero educational value. That is why the world is obsessed with shows like American Pickers and Next Top Model. if we had actual intellectual content on television then we would be more advanced as a civilization. of course we will need some sort of super space drive to get into deep space; considering the distance from Earth to Pluto and the distance to the nearest star is 4.3 light-years; that is a good indication of the massive distances between the stars and the galaxies. But we can make the journey if we dedicate scientific work towards finding a way to reach another planet.