In short, space is so dark there can't be as many galaxies out there, adding their faint glow to the backdrop, as astronomers have previously estimated.
"It's an important number to know -- how many galaxies are there?" Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute said in a statement Tuesday.
That was the earlier estimate derived from Hubble Space Telescope observations, but a new study forthcoming in the Astrophysical Journal and co-authored by Postman suggests the total number of galaxies in the universe is probably in the hundreds of billions rather than the trillions.
The upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, currently set to launch on Halloween, could help provide further insights into exactly how many and what type of galaxies provide the faint background glow that keeps the universe from going totally pitch black.
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