December 24, 2016, by Lindsay Brooke

24 December 2016 – what’s the story behind door number 24?

There are at least two trillion galaxies in the universe, ten times more than previously thought.

When the three wise men saw the star over Bethlehem little did they know that there were many more galaxies to be found. Astronomers have long sought to determine how many galaxies there are in the universe.

It was approximated that the observable Universe contained about 100 billion galaxies in total. Now, an international team, led by Christopher Conselice, Professor of Astrophysics at The University of Nottingham, has shown that the actual number is much higher than this.

This discovery is the culmination of 15 year’s work. Professor Conselice and his team converted pencil beam images of deep space from telescopes around the world, and especially from the Hubble telescope, into 3D maps to calculate the volume as well as the density of galaxies of one tiny bit of space after another.

Who opened the door?

We thought we would leave the last door on the calendar to our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Greenaway. Our thanks to him and to everyone who has helped us peel away the doors and scan the past 12 months.

You can find out more about the digital advent calendar here.

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