Hope some of you can help me with this one. The riddle is in Danish but I have tried to translate it.

When you see me, I am small and only visible in the dark. Yet, I am longer and wider that the eye can see. What am I?

I have gotten three clues:

  1. I consist of more parts than you would be able to count in a lifetime
  2. I have a name, and my colors are many.
  3. Some places I am hot, some places I am ice cold.

closed as off-topic by Rupert Morrish, Brandon_J, Omega Krypton, Rubio May 10 at 3:42

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Where does this come from? (Denmark, I guess, but more specifically?) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 9 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @michaelpa You need to site where you got this riddle from, otherwise it'll be on hold for missing proper attribution $\endgroup$ – North May 9 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan It might be a traditional (unsourceable) riddle in Denmark. I've heard one similar to this (not quite the same) from Norway. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 10 at 6:45
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, might be. (I didn't post an answer because I thought the question might need putting on hold, so of course someone else came along and posted an answer basically equivalent to mine. No good deed goes unpunished...) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan May 10 at 10:33

While this is a straightforward guess, and doesn't make any clever use of the description or hints, I think it is

The Andromeda galaxy. It spans only a few times the width of the moon in the sky, which looks small to us. It's visible with the naked eye if you're far enough away from light pollution. I'm not sure about the "longer and wider than the eye can see" part. I mean, it would span longer than our visual field if we were sufficiently close, but you could say that about anything wider than our eye.

For the hints:

It has 1 trillion stars, and we only have about 2 billion seconds in our life (we would have to count about 500 per second). Clearly it has a name. Its contains every star in the Main Sequence, which spans a the spectrum of colors. If you're in a star it's a little warm, and if you're anywhere in the empty vacuum between the stars, it gets a little chilly.


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