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Scientists discover two trillion new galaxies in the universe

Posted Oct 14, 2016 by Stephen Morgan
Scientists have discovered that the universe contains a mind-blowing, two trillion galaxies. The discovery could change our view of the cosmos and open up a vast unknown territory of scientific knowledge.
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Until recently scientists thought there were "only" 100 billion galaxies in the universe. But a study of evidence collected over the last twenty years has revealed that in fact there are two trillion out there and, who knows, that might be just the tip of the iceberg.
No one can say how big the universe really is, or if it is has an end at all. At the moment, we can only see 10% of what is out there – the so-called "observable universe." Viewing the other 90 percent is beyond our technical abilities. In fact, most galaxies are so far away that their light has never reached us.
The study's leader, Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham in the U.K., is quoted by the Guardian as saying, “It boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied. Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we observe these galaxies with the next generation of telescopes?”
Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope. Shuttle astronauts extended and improved the observatory's capabilities through 2013.
Photo by NASA and STScI
Using what Cosmos Magazine calls "pencil images," the scientists beamed 13 billion light-years into the universe. The researchers then created 3D images to analyze the density of galaxies and distances between them. They correlated this with information from NASA’s Spitzer, Hubble, and Chandra telescopes, as well as those from ESA’s Herschel and XMM-Newton's. The results showed that there are at least 20 times more galaxies than had previously been estimated.
From this new data, scientists have already been able to discern that there were even more galaxies around when the universe was born and, since then, there has been a process of merging among them.
Such discoveries help us to understand the physics of the cosmos and what is happening to the universe now, and not just in the past. Moreover, it allows us to infer what these processes will lead to in the future.
This is what the universe really looks like.
This is what the universe really looks like.
ESO
There are so many unanswered questions in cosmology. There are different theories about virtually everything we already know and many are highly controversial. The new data may help to resolve debates on such things as; was there really a Big Bang or were there many Big Bangs? Is the universe expanding or contracting and could it implode on itself at some point. Are there many universes and not just this one? And so on and so forth.
It is amazing to think that less than 100 years ago, we thought that our Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe. What we will discover in the future is impossible to predict. Maybe the quest for knowledge is as vast and unending as the universe itself.
The team’s findings have been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.