When astronomers first trained the Hubble Space Telescope on the deepest, darkest patch of the night sky, they knew they’d see a lot of faint, never-before-seen galaxies. And they did. Ten years of months-long exposures, taken with different instruments and in different wavelengths of light, revealed more and more galaxies. The final tally of the Hubble ultra-deep field photo (above) reveals some 10,000 galaxies. By extrapolating that tiny patch to the observable universe, scientists estimated some 100 billion galaxies exist in the observable universe. But this count may be off, and big time — possibly by a factor of 10 to 20. According to a new study in The Astrophysical Journal, we can only see about 10% of all the galaxies that should be within sight, which means some 1.8 to 1.9 trillion are missing. “This question is not only of passing interest as a curiosity, but is also connected to many other questions in cosmology and astronomy,” a team of four astronomers, led by Christopher Conselice at the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, wrote in the study. They say their discovery may also put a centuries-old paradox to rest. Counting ancient galaxies The new study checked the 100-billion-galaxies number… Read full this story
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