Thanks to a deep-sky census assembled from surveys taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, the universe looks surprisenly a lot more crowded. Astronomers suggest that there are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought.
The international team of scientists led by Christopher Conselice created a 3D map of the known universe using mainly the collected data from the Hubble Space Telescope. It turned out that what we call observable universe, the part which is visible within our cosmological horizon has at least 10 times more galaxies than the mid 1990-s Hubble Deep Field images count of about 100-200 billion.
The scientists have calculated the galaxies which modern telescopes can’t observe yet by using the mathematical models. According to the results, about 90% of galaxies are too far away and too faint to be seen clearly.
The map depicts as accurately as possible different times from universe’s history and goes back to 13 billion years ago. Therefore when universe was few billions years younger than now it already contained 10 more galaxies per unit volume. Galaxies tend to decrease in number and increase in size accordingly within billions of years.
“This gives us a verification of the so-called top-down formation of structure in the universe. It boggles the mind that over 90% 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,” explains Conselice about the far-reaching implications of the new results.
Scientists are waiting for the new, more advanced space telescopes to be invented and the first one is going to be implemented in 2018 – James Webb Space Telescope, which would definitely help them see universe more clear. Nobody knows what can be revealed behind that expanded frontier of the space. The universe has just got a little bit bigger.