(CHRON) — Astronomers revealed Thursday there are roughly two trillion galaxies in the observable universe, about 10 times more than previously thought.
The startling revelation comes courtesy of a new sky census assembled from surveys taken from NASA’s Hubble Space telescope and other observatories.
These newly discovered galaxies were actually present during the early days of our universe and over time merged to form larger galaxies, according to research published Thursday in the The Astrophysical Journal.
In other words, galaxies are not evenly distributed throughout the universe’s history.
“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. This gives us a verification of the so-called top-down formation of structure in the universe,” said the University of Nottingham’s Christopher Conselice, who led the team of researchers.