Although the Universe is unimaginably huge, you can get an idea of its immensity through pictures that reveal galaxy clusters. A galaxy alone contains billions of stars. For instance, our Milky Way galaxy is estimated to have somewhere between 100 billion and 200 billion stars.
But when we’re talking about galaxy clusters, the numbers are way off the charts! Even more stars can only mean more chances for little green men with big black eyes to be starring at the heavens and wondering just like us if they’re alone in the Universe. Although with the current technology, there’s no way for us humans to reach another galaxy unless one of those hypothetical green friends puts a wormhole at our disposal similar to the Interstellar scenario, NASA’s new image still takes our breath away:
💫 It's time to peer into the universe…
This @NASAHubble image is swarming with galaxies housing an abundance of new worlds!
— NASA (@NASA) May 23, 2021
You’re looking at the galaxy cluster known as ACO S 295, and it’s located at 3.5 billion light-years away from us. The photograph was possible thanks to the Hubble telescope that’s operated by NASA and the European Space Agency.
Galaxies of all shapes and sizes
In a statement, NASA explains more about the galaxy cluster, as cited by NDTV.com:
This packed image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showcases the galaxy cluster ACO S 295, as well as a jostling crowd of background galaxies and foreground stars. Galaxies of all shapes and sizes populate this image, ranging from stately spirals to fuzzy ellipticals. This galactic menagerie boasts a range of orientations and sizes, with spiral galaxies such as the one at the center of this image appearing almost face on, and some edge-on spiral galaxies visible only as thin slivers of light.
Scientists estimate that most stars in the Universe have planets revolving around them. While it’s a bit difficult for another world to meet all the conditions for harbouring life, there’s a chance we can rely on the ACO S 295 cluster to put us in contact with extraterrestrial beings one day.