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NASA spacecraft discovered the universe less crowded than we thought


This very wide multi-frame panorama was taken in October 2014 at the Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeastern Arizona. The zodiac light is on the left, with the Milky Way to the north on the right.

Z. Levay

While we might think of space as the vast Black Sea, But all we have to do is look up at night to see if it is separated by countless stars, galaxies and even a few. Planets that are visible to the naked eye.

Scientists recently used data from NASA’s New Horizons mission beyond Pluto to gauge how dark the cosmic background is. What they find affects all we think we know about the creation of the universe.

In short, space is so dark that it can’t contain as many galaxies there, adding a faint glow to the background, as astronomers had predicted.

“It’s an important figure to know how many galaxies there are,” said Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in a statement on Tuesday. “We don’t see light from 2 trillion galaxies”

That is an earlier estimate derived from observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope. But a new study, published in the journal The Astrophysical Journal and co-authored by Postman suggested that the total number of galaxies in the universe is likely in the hundreds of billions to more than trillions.

Interestingly, this is close to the previous figure that predicted about 200 billion galaxies, according to Hubble data from the 1990s.

New Horizons’ position near the edge of the solar system makes the surrounding sky 10 times darker than what Hubble sits.

“It’s so difficult to measure this, a lot of people have been trying to do it for a long time,” said study co-author Tod Lauer from the National Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory. To measure the background of cosmic light better than anyone could “

The team’s results will be presented at the American Astronomical Society meeting on Wednesday.

To happen James Webb Space TelescopeWhich is currently slated to be released on Halloween, could provide further insights into how many galaxies and what types provide a faint backlight that prevents the universe from completely dark.

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