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Ancient spiral galaxy puzzles astronomers

Posted on Sunday, 22 July, 2012 | Comment icon 15 comments

Image credit: NASA

A spiral galaxy dating back to just 3 billion years after the Big Bang has been photographed by Hubble.

The discovery is particularly interesting because it appears to be a spiral galaxy at a time when the universe was considered too chaotic for such a thing to have formed. Astronomers now believe that an orbiting dwarf galaxy may have helped provide the necessary gravitational 'kick' to enable it to form in to a spiral.

"Even though we see some discs existing at that time, they're very thick and puffy, whereas the Milky Way has an... amount of random motion only about a tenth or so the amount of ordered rotation, giving rise to a very thin disc," said study author David Law.

"Astronomers have spotted the earliest known spiral galaxy, dating to just three billion years after the Big Bang."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (15)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by pallidin on 23 July, 2012, 3:37
Star Wars? Hmmm... I like it! That my new title. Na Na Na Na Na !
Comment icon #7 Posted by woopypooky on 23 July, 2012, 12:48
cant people just accept that the universe had always been, and will always be here. There are no concept of time. There is no beginning and no end.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 23 July, 2012, 18:41
Well they could accept that if the evidence supported it. Unfortunately just at the moment it doesn't.
Comment icon #9 Posted by NoiseBleed on 25 July, 2012, 20:28
science has shown that the universe is far more vast than we ever thought. im sorry but i think that there is so much more out there than we will ever be able to see and discover. furthermore, i think that this should show us that this information wasnt meant to be known by us, and honestly we should leave the best, hardest mysteries to the imagination and live as good and honestly as possible instead of trying to explain it. i find it so ironic that science thought for the longest time that through dna and space exploration they thought they woudl prove the universe is scientific and humans a... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by DeathRain2012 on 26 July, 2012, 14:19
Beautiful picture.
Comment icon #11 Posted by notoverrated on 6 August, 2012, 9:51
Comment icon #12 Posted by Taun on 6 August, 2012, 13:12
It's too bad the photo of it is so pixilated... of course at that distance that is probably the best our current optics will allow...
Comment icon #13 Posted by Lrak on 6 August, 2012, 21:05
I wonder if there's life there.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Purifier on 7 August, 2012, 20:18
"Fascinating" as Spock would say. It's like having a live video feed billions of years old.

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