Imagine 2 trillion galaxies, bearing in mind that one trillion has 12 zeros.
Now, in one galaxy, our own Milky Way galaxy, astronomers say there are approximately 100 billion stars held together by gravity. And each star hosts a number of planets.
The mind-boggling numbers came up following the release of a new study based on Hubble Space Telescope data. The new analysis showed that the universe is much bigger than scientists originally thought. Specifically, the researchers found out that there are 10 times more galaxies in the universe than previously reported—about 2 trillion of them, rather than 200 billion, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reports.
What is even more astounding is the fact that this latest discovery has always been a part of what the Bible says, according to CBN News.
In a paper to be published in The Astrophysical Journal, a team of scientists led by Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham, U.K., used deep-space images from Hubble and new mathematical models to infer the existence of galaxies that the current generation of telescopes cannot observe.
They then came up with the conclusion that for the numbers of galaxies we now see and their masses to add up, there must be a further 90 percent of galaxies in the observable universe that are too faint and too far away to be seen with present-day telescopes.
"It boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied," Conselice said in a statement. "Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we discover these galaxies with future generations of telescopes?"
For Christians, however, highly advanced telescopes are not needed anymore to understand at least a glimmer of God's majestic creations. This is because the information backing up the new space research is already in the Bible, according to Dr. Jason Lisle.
The Apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis recently published an article adapted from Lisle's book, "Taking Back Astronomy," according to CBN News.
In the article, Lisle points out that the Bible indicates in several verses that the universe has been "stretched out" or expanded.
For instance, he cites Isaiah 40:22, which says that God "stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in."
Answers in Genesis says this would suggest that the universe has actually increased in size, and perhaps is still expanding, because God has stretched it out after creating it.
The Apologetics ministry points out that Conselice's research reached a similar conclusion.
"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," Conselice explained.