Galaxies of Hubble

Well, of the Universe. But as seen through the eye of Hubble.

I know I’ve posted this in the past, but it’s just such a great photograph.

How many planets are in our galaxy?

The answer is 50 billion. But I find the number in the Goldilocks zone far more interesting.

At least 500 million of those planets are in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold zone where life could exist. The numbers were extrapolated from the early results of NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler telescope.

Hey look, every Facebook user could have one Goldilocks planet all his or her own.

These numbers could change drastically, but don’t expect to ever see any minuscule estimate by any measure. We have billions of stars in the Milky Way alone; we can predict the number of planets should reasonably be in the billions just by that fact. And if we venture our minds outside our little corner of the Universe, we realize there are more stars than grains of sand on Earth. The total number of planets in the Universe is undoubtedly in the trillions. And I’m probably being conservative. Earth is likely to be mind-blowingly mundane.

Yeah, that’s probably empty

I mean, there are only billions and billions of these. I can see how it might be reasonable to presume each one is empty.

If you’re arrogant, that is.

No two galaxies are alike

NASA has recently taken an image of a galaxy which is suppose to resemble a snowflake. I guess I can see it, but it’s hard not to just think “Oo, a spiral galaxy” instead.

Hubble Images

SN 1987A

NGC 2440

Small Magellanic Cloud