See images from New Horizons showing the darkness of space

How dark is space? If you do not look at the city lights, but up to the sky, then between the stars there really

very dark.Outer space above the earth's atmosphere dims even more, turning into impenetrable darkness. Yet even there, space is not entirely black. The universe is filled with the faint twinkling of countless distant stars and galaxies.

New dimensions of this faint background glowshow that there are fewer invisible galaxies than suggested in some theoretical studies, and their number is only hundreds of billions: previously it was thought that there were about two trillion.

This photo shows a phenomenon thatcalled the zodiacal light. The spot of light at the bottom left extends into the upper right corner, towards Jupiter. The glow is caused by sunlight reflecting off tiny dust particles in the inner solar system - decayed remnants of comets and asteroids.

Attempts to measure the darkness of space usingtelescopes like Hubble were disrupted by this light. As a result, astronomers relied on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to observe the sky without the zodiacal light. The faint background they measured is similar to looking at the light from a refrigerator half a kilometer away.

The cosmic optical background tells us thatthe sum of all the stars that have ever formed since the creation of the galaxy. This places a limit on the total number of galaxies that have been created and on where they can be.

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