NASA

NASA finds there are fewer galaxies than first thought, leaving the possibility we're alone in the universe


The New Horizons mission, which yielded the first close-up photos of Pluto , provided enough data for scientists to make the determination that it's likely the number of galaxies is in the hundreds of billions, rather than 2 trillion, as initially believed.


In the background lies the Sun and a glowing band representing zodiacal light, caused by sunlight reflecting off of dust.


The findings, which were published and can be read here , are in stark contrast to the 2 trillion figure that had long been used, thanks to data from the Hubble Space Telescope.


Traveling at roughly 33,000 miles per hour, the $720 million New Horizons spacecraft, which launched in January 2006, will eventually reach interstellar space, like the Voyager probes before it.


The New Horizons spacecraft has made a number of discoveries in recent memory, including the object Arrokoth , previously known as Ultima Thule.


In May 2019, New Horizons discovered water and organic molecules on Arrokoth , which is deep within the so-called Kuiper Belt, or Twilight Zone, well beyond the orbit of Neptune.






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