Astronomers discover earliest spiral galaxy ever viewed

Jul 19, 2012
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Astronomers announced that they have viewed for the first time a spiral galaxy from the early universe. The scientists believe that this particular spiral galaxy formed billions of years before other spiral galaxies. The astronomers discovered the ancient spiral galaxy using the Hubble Space Telescope to take pictures of roughly 300 very distant galaxies in order to study the galaxy properties.

The old spiral galaxy is being observed, as it would've been roughly 3 billion years after the formation of the universe. Astronomers also note that the light from this part of the universe has been traveling to Earth for 10.7 billion years. Our own Milky Way galaxy is a spiral galaxy.

The astronomers say that the fact that this galaxy exists is astounding. The scientists note that current wisdom believed that such spiral galaxies didn't exist at such an early time in the history of the universe. This particular spiral galaxy is termed a "grand design" galaxy because it has prominent and well-formed spiral arms. The galaxy may look grand, but its name is rather boring. Scientists have dubbed the galaxy BX442.

[via SpaceDaily]


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