If you point your telescope outside of the Milky Way, you’re almost guaranteed to pick up very distant galaxies, because there are just so many of them out there.

This patch of sky inside Cancer is a cluster of galaxies called Abell 671. If you click the image and look at it full size, you’ll discover galaxy upon galaxy in there. There are likely many trillions of worlds contained in this image.

Mind not blown yet? These galaxies are about 650 million light-years away. When the light in this image started its journey to my telescope, the very first animals – primitive sponge-like life about a centimeter long – were just beginning to evolve on Earth. And Earth itself was just emerging from the “Snowball Earth” period in which it was completely encased in ice.