Using new mathematical models and 3-D maps to explore where no telescope has gone before, a team of international researchers has determined that there are approximately 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe – 10 times more than previously thought. But 90 percent of those galaxies remain hidden to present-day technology.
The study published Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal was conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham in England, University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and Leiden University in the Netherlands, and represented the culmination of 15 years of work. Using a network of telescopes across the globe, and mathematical models to count and then make a 3-D map of all the galaxies in the universe, the researchers are offering clues into the evolution of the early universe.
“We are missing the vast majority of galaxies because they are very faint and far away,” Christopher Conselice, an astrophysics professor at the University of Nottingham and the lead author of the study, said in a statement. “The number of galaxies in the universe is a fundamental question in astronomy, and it boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the cosmos have yet to be studied. Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we study these galaxies with the next generation of telescopes?” READ MORE.