You are here: Home » News-IANS » Science-Tech
Business Standard

Universe has 10 times more galaxies than previously thought

IANS  |  Washington 

There are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought, said astronomers.

One of the most fundamental questions in astronomy is that of just how many galaxies the universe contains, and astronomers earlier estimated that the observable universe contained about 200 billion galaxies.

The new research - to be published in The Astrophysical Journal -- shows that this estimate is at least 10 times too low.

The researchers led by Christopher Conselice of University of Nottingham in Britain reached this conclusion using deep-space images from NASA's Hubble space telescope and the already published data from other teams.

They converted the images into 3-D, in order to make accurate measurements of the number of galaxies at different epochs in the universe's history.

In addition, they used new mathematical models, which allowed them to infer the existence of galaxies that the current generation of telescopes cannot observe.

This led to the surprising conclusion that in order for the numbers of galaxies we now see and their masses to add up, there must be a further 90 per cent of galaxies in the observable universe that are too faint and too far away to be seen with present-day telescopes.

These myriad small faint galaxies from the early universe merged over time into the larger galaxies we can now observe.

"It boggles the mind that over 90 per cent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied. Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we discover these galaxies with future generations of telescopes? In the near future, the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to study these ultra-faint galaxies," Conselice said.

"These results are powerful evidence that a significant galaxy evolution has taken place throughout the universe's history, which dramatically reduced the number of galaxies through mergers between them - thus reducing their total number," Conselice explained.

The decreasing number of galaxies as time progresses also contributes to the solution for Olbers' paradox (first formulated in the early 1800s by German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers): Why is the sky dark at night if the universe contains an infinity of stars?

The team came to the conclusion that indeed there actually is such an abundance of galaxies that, in principle, every patch in the sky contains part of a galaxy.

However, starlight from the galaxies is invisible to the human eye and most modern telescopes due to other known factors that reduce visible and ultraviolet light in the universe.

Those factors are the reddening of light due to the expansion of space, the universe's dynamic nature, and the absorption of light by intergalactic dust and gas.

All combined, this keeps the night sky dark to our vision, the researchers said.

--IANS

gb/ksk

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Universe has 10 times more galaxies than previously thought

There are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought, said astronomers.

There are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought, said astronomers.

One of the most fundamental questions in astronomy is that of just how many galaxies the universe contains, and astronomers earlier estimated that the observable universe contained about 200 billion galaxies.

The new research - to be published in The Astrophysical Journal -- shows that this estimate is at least 10 times too low.

The researchers led by Christopher Conselice of University of Nottingham in Britain reached this conclusion using deep-space images from NASA's Hubble space telescope and the already published data from other teams.

They converted the images into 3-D, in order to make accurate measurements of the number of galaxies at different epochs in the universe's history.

In addition, they used new mathematical models, which allowed them to infer the existence of galaxies that the current generation of telescopes cannot observe.

This led to the surprising conclusion that in order for the numbers of galaxies we now see and their masses to add up, there must be a further 90 per cent of galaxies in the observable universe that are too faint and too far away to be seen with present-day telescopes.

These myriad small faint galaxies from the early universe merged over time into the larger galaxies we can now observe.

"It boggles the mind that over 90 per cent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied. Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we discover these galaxies with future generations of telescopes? In the near future, the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to study these ultra-faint galaxies," Conselice said.

"These results are powerful evidence that a significant galaxy evolution has taken place throughout the universe's history, which dramatically reduced the number of galaxies through mergers between them - thus reducing their total number," Conselice explained.

The decreasing number of galaxies as time progresses also contributes to the solution for Olbers' paradox (first formulated in the early 1800s by German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers): Why is the sky dark at night if the universe contains an infinity of stars?

The team came to the conclusion that indeed there actually is such an abundance of galaxies that, in principle, every patch in the sky contains part of a galaxy.

However, starlight from the galaxies is invisible to the human eye and most modern telescopes due to other known factors that reduce visible and ultraviolet light in the universe.

Those factors are the reddening of light due to the expansion of space, the universe's dynamic nature, and the absorption of light by intergalactic dust and gas.

All combined, this keeps the night sky dark to our vision, the researchers said.

--IANS

gb/ksk

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
177 22

Universe has 10 times more galaxies than previously thought

There are at least 10 times more galaxies in the observable universe than previously thought, said astronomers.

One of the most fundamental questions in astronomy is that of just how many galaxies the universe contains, and astronomers earlier estimated that the observable universe contained about 200 billion galaxies.

The new research - to be published in The Astrophysical Journal -- shows that this estimate is at least 10 times too low.

The researchers led by Christopher Conselice of University of Nottingham in Britain reached this conclusion using deep-space images from NASA's Hubble space telescope and the already published data from other teams.

They converted the images into 3-D, in order to make accurate measurements of the number of galaxies at different epochs in the universe's history.

In addition, they used new mathematical models, which allowed them to infer the existence of galaxies that the current generation of telescopes cannot observe.

This led to the surprising conclusion that in order for the numbers of galaxies we now see and their masses to add up, there must be a further 90 per cent of galaxies in the observable universe that are too faint and too far away to be seen with present-day telescopes.

These myriad small faint galaxies from the early universe merged over time into the larger galaxies we can now observe.

"It boggles the mind that over 90 per cent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied. Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we discover these galaxies with future generations of telescopes? In the near future, the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to study these ultra-faint galaxies," Conselice said.

"These results are powerful evidence that a significant galaxy evolution has taken place throughout the universe's history, which dramatically reduced the number of galaxies through mergers between them - thus reducing their total number," Conselice explained.

The decreasing number of galaxies as time progresses also contributes to the solution for Olbers' paradox (first formulated in the early 1800s by German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers): Why is the sky dark at night if the universe contains an infinity of stars?

The team came to the conclusion that indeed there actually is such an abundance of galaxies that, in principle, every patch in the sky contains part of a galaxy.

However, starlight from the galaxies is invisible to the human eye and most modern telescopes due to other known factors that reduce visible and ultraviolet light in the universe.

Those factors are the reddening of light due to the expansion of space, the universe's dynamic nature, and the absorption of light by intergalactic dust and gas.

All combined, this keeps the night sky dark to our vision, the researchers said.

--IANS

gb/ksk

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

image
Business Standard
177 22

Upgrade To Premium Services

Welcome User

Business Standard is happy to inform you of the launch of "Business Standard Premium Services"

As a premium subscriber you get an across device unfettered access to a range of services which include:

  • Access Exclusive content - articles, features & opinion pieces
  • Weekly Industry/Genre specific newsletters - Choose multiple industries/genres
  • Access to 17 plus years of content archives
  • Set Stock price alerts for your portfolio and watch list and get them delivered to your e-mail box
  • End of day news alerts on 5 companies (via email)
  • NEW: Get seamless access to WSJ.com at a great price. No additional sign-up required.
 

Premium Services

In Partnership with

 

Dear Guest,

 

Welcome to the premium services of Business Standard brought to you courtesy FIS.
Kindly visit the Manage my subscription page to discover the benefits of this programme.

Enjoy Reading!
Team Business Standard