Skip to main content

How small are we in the scale of the universe? - Alex Hofeldt


21,001 Questions Answered

TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

In 1995, scientists pointed the Hubble Telescope at an area of the sky near the Big Dipper. The location was apparently empty, and the whole endeavor was risky – what, if anything, was going to show up? But what came back was nothing short of spectacular: an image of over 1,500 galaxies glimmering in a tiny sliver of the universe. Alex Hofeldt helps us understand the scale of this image.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Hubble Deep Field Image Credit: R. Williams (STScI), the Hubble Deep Field Team, and NASA.

The Hubble Deep Field images are some of the most iconic images ever taken. Visit for an in-depth and up-to-date reference regarding the image, the telescope, and the spinoff information. Science is a powerful tool to create personal and global changes in our collective society. Read this article from Leah Shafer to learn more about the importance of STEM.

Modern science tells a story. A story written by the grandest minds, people, and technologies. An understanding of images like the eXtreme Deep Field Image connects us to the cosmos. As we learn more about how immense the Universe is, it's natural to wonder about our place in it as a planet, as a species, and as individuals. After all, the probability of each of our existence is vanishingly small. 

In closing, look to scientists like Carl Sagan, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Brian Cox, and Neil deGrasse Tyson for more information. Some great videos to get you started are Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan and The Most Astounding Fact by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Go to Beautiful Dust Specks to listen to Alex Hofeldt's podcast about how ordinary moments of our lives are truly extraordinary.

Next Section »

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Hofeldt
  • Director Yukai Du
  • Script Editor Mia Nacamulli
  • Animator Tom Matuszewski
  • Producer Tim Coates
  • Composer Tim Arndt
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

More from Out Of This World