Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Location: Western New Hamster
|Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:36 am Post subject:
|It looks like the James Webb will have it's work cut out for it.
There is some evidence that there may be 10 times more galaxies in the universe than previously thought.
The James Webb will be the only instrument with the ability to "shed some light" on the matter.
According to an article: http://www.universetoday.com/131409/universes-galaxy-population-just-grew-tenfold/
|Ever since human beings learned that the Milky Way was not unique or alone in the night sky, astronomers and cosmologists have sought to find out just how many galaxies there are in the Universe. And until recently, our greatest scientific minds believed they had a pretty good idea – between 100 and 200 billion.
However, a new study produced by researchers from the UK has revealed something startling about the Universe. Using Hubble’s Deep Field Images and data from other telescopes, they have concluded that these previous estimates were off by a factor of about 10. The Universe, as it turns out, may have had up to 2 trillion galaxies in it during the course of its history.
That's a big jump in numbers.
|Based on their results, the UK team has surmised that while every point in the night sky contains part of a galaxy, most of them are invisible to the human eye and modern telescopes. This is due to a combination of factors, which includes the effects of cosmic redshift, the fact that the Universe is dynamic (i.e. always expanding) and the absorption of light by cosmic dust and gas.
Needless to say, future missions will be needed to confirm the existence of all these unseen galaxies. And in that respect, Conselice and his colleagues are looking to future missions – ones that are capable of observing stars and galaxies in the non-visible spectrum – to make that happen.
It boggles the mind that over 90 percent 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.
Understanding how many galaxies have existed over time is a fundamental aspect of understanding the Universe as a whole. With every passing study that attempts to resolve what we can see with our current cosmological models, we are getting that much closer!