We are all aware of that age-old perception that the Universe could be infinite in space and time. Astronomy teaches us that there are some boundaries at some point, as the observable Universe is about 96 billion light-years across. The totality of our physical reality could be even a lot bigger, but the Big Bang Theory also confirms that there has to be an end somewhere. What’s beyond those boundaries is one of the biggest mysteries in science.
According to CNN, a recent discovery claims that the Universe has less matter than scientists thought previously. This doesn’t mean, however, that the Universe is smaller, as our physical reality also contains space, time, dark matter, and dark energy.
“Only” hundreds of billions of galaxies present in the Universe
Previous measurements made by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal that our Universe contains about 2 trillion galaxies. But NASA deployed its New Horizons mission near Pluto, and it was able to survey a portion of the sky that was ten times darker than the darkest sky that Hubble captured.
The European Space Agency’s Hubble site released the following statement:
Deep field observations are long-lasting observations of a particular region of the sky intended to reveal faint objects by collecting the light from them for an appropriately long time.
It’s important to mention that distant or faint galaxies that cannot be seen weren’t counted. Knowing for sure exactly how many galaxies there are in the entire Universe is next to impossible, and astronomers previously believed that 90% of the galaxies in the Universe were hidden from the Hubble Space Telescope’s view.
Tod Lauer, lead study author and an astronomer from the National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory at the National Science Foundation, declared:
Take all the galaxies Hubble can see, double that number, and that’s what we see — but nothing more.
The study was accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and was presented during the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society,