Darkness is defined as the partial or total absence of light; however, new studies are potentially showing that space may not be so dark after all. NASA’s New Horizons satellite was launched in 2006 with an initial purpose of exploring the dwarf planet of Pluto, but, in 2015, New Horizons entirely shot past the world in what was to be a six-month reconnaissance flyby along with exploring the Kuiper belt. Beyond the Milky Way galaxy, researchers have taken photos, extracted any light coming from random stars or from the Milky Way, and concluded that there is light beyond our own universe. With this finding, scientists began to ask where the light may be coming from.
Thanks to highly detailed images in the Hubble telescope’s many attempts, scientists may now have detailed pictures of light existing in the far corners of the universe. However, minuscule the light amount may be, scientists believe that even a small amount is a groundbreaking find. However, the discovery does come with some caveats. An example is that whatever light the observer may be looking at may affect the amount of dust in the space.
The Hubble Telescope has contributed more to the question of light outside of the Milky Way. So far, according to this study, the Hubble Telescope has helped in finding some of the farthest and dimmest galaxies known to man to this day. However, despite finding so much, Hubble’s capabilities are limited because there could exist light sources that cannot be seen. Given that light is infinite and can go in any number of directions, a piece of dust in space can project a considerable amount of light and, therefore, mess up findings. While scientists still have a long way to go as to what they may or may not discover with this new study, they are astounded continuously so far as to what they found. This is a real example of just how far technology has come to give humankind such an in-depth look at the mystery with such potential.
If you would like to read more about this study, click here for an NPR article or here for a Forbes article on the study.