The show Time
Data from the New Horizons spacecraft, NASA’s third interstellar mission, has shown that the universe is actually darker than previously estimated, leading scientists to conclude that there are far fewer galaxies out there than we initially believed.
NASA’s groundbreaking New Horizons mission is revolutionising what we understand about outer space, but its latest finding has suggested that there might actually be a whole lot less out there than we first thought.
Earlier estimates of the total number of galaxies in the universe were modelled on observations made by the Hubble Telescope, with scientists calculating the number of ‘unseen’ galaxies based on the number of galaxies that were visible to the telescope.
In 2016, a team concluded that approximately 90% of the total number of galaxies in the universe were invisible to the telescope, leading them to estimate that there were a whopping 2 trillion galaxies in the universe.
Now, as the New Horizons mission reaches the outer edge of our solar system and becomes less affected by ambient light pollution from the sun and other planets, it’s able to see far more of interstellar space than is visible to the Hubble.