To Infinity and Beyond: 4.4 million Galaxies Discovered by Scientists


Public Domain. Taken by NASA.

A new map of the night sky was recently published by a team of scientists at Durham University. The map astonishingly reveals 4.4 million galaxies in the northern quadrant of the sky. Most of the light flecks captured in the picture are billions of light-years away from Earth. Colliding galaxies and flaring stars, which are very rare, were even captured in the image. Colliding galaxies, just as the name suggests, are when galaxies collide and bunch together. In addition, flaring stars are red dwarf stars whose brightness can fluctuate magnitudes in minutes. If those rare discoveries weren’t enough, only 27 percent of the survey is complete. This means that scientists have even more to look forward to as more discoveries will be made.

The LOFAR or low-frequency array radio telescope took the incredibly detailed image. This telescope produced a clear and complex photograph of the universe. In addition, the amount of data and over 3,500 hours of observation have taken up an incredible amount of space on many of the scientists’ computers. The amount of disk space used is equal to around 20,000 computers!

Almost four million objects pictured in the image are new discoveries at radio wavelengths. This is a big step in the astrophysics community and a fascinating scientific discovery!