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2 trillion galaxies make up universe

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) – Thought the universe was crowded with 100 billion to 200 billion galaxies? Try one trillion or even two trillion galaxies and more.

That’s the latest census, reported Thursday.

An astrophysics professor at the University of Nottingham in England led the international team that came up with the mind-boggling estimate of two trillion galaxies in the universe. Prof. Christopher Conselice said that represents a minimum tenfold increase.

In a phone interview, Conselice said he was surprised by the results. He anticipated two or three times more galaxies, perhaps, but “10 is quite high” and it could prove to be even greater.

The scientists based their galaxy head count on deep-space surveys already conducted by the Hubble Space Telescope and ground observatories. They turned the images into 3-D and used new mathematical models for the update.

“It boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied,” Conselice said in a statement.