Thanks to NASA’s amazing Hubble telescope, now we can catch glimpses of the universe billions of years away from Earth. A recent study published in journal “Nature” presents Hubble’s latest discovery. The Hubble Telescope finds the oldest spiral galaxy, and brings scientists three billions years away from the Big Bang.
The more scientists look into the universe and the more they discover conventional theories are debunked. Take for instance, Hubble’s latest find. The theory reads that the universe was too chaotic to allow for the formation of spiral galaxies. BX442 as scientists called the oldest spiral galaxy comes to show the opposite.
“The fact that this galaxy exists is astounding” said David Law, lead author of the study. “Current wisdom holds that such ‘grand-design’ spiral galaxies simply didn’t exist at such an early time in the history of the universe” he added.
As scientists explain in today’s edition of “Nature”, BX442 was first spotted in a Hubble space image that carried another 300 galaxies. Out of all the galaxies, only BX442 had that perfect spiral form, discovery that came as a shock for researchers. Experts then used the OH-Suppressing Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph in Hawaii to get a closer look at what soon became the oldest spiral galaxy we know about.
“As you go back in time to the early universe, galaxies look really strange, clumpy and irregular, not symmetric” Alice Shapley, co-author of the study, said. “The vast majority of old galaxies look like train wrecks. Our first thought was, why is this one so different, and so beautiful” said the UCLA associate professor of physics and astronomy.
Shapley added they originally thought it was just an illusion, but as soon as the OH-Suppressing Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph cleared the picture experts found it was a spiral galaxy that existed at such an early time in universe.
“What we found when we took this spectral image of this galaxy is that the spiral arms do belong to this galaxy; it wasn’t an illusion” said Shapley. “It’s rotating and has spiral arms. Not only does it look like a rotating disk galaxy – it really is. We were blown away” she confessed.