Astronomers find rare spiral galaxy

2012-07-19 07:29
This image shows a view of the nearby galaxy Messier 83, sometimes referred to as the southern Pinwheel galaxy. (Nasa, JPL-Caltech, Wise Team, AP)

This image shows a view of the nearby galaxy Messier 83, sometimes referred to as the southern Pinwheel galaxy. (Nasa, JPL-Caltech, Wise Team, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Astronomy
    Learn about famous astronomers, the solar system, stars, and other aspects of astronomy Was R174.95 Now R148.71
    buy now
Paris - Astronomers said they had stumbled upon an astonishing spiral galaxy that was born nearly 11 billion years ago, a finding that could spur a rethink of how galaxies formed after the Big Bang.

Dubbed BX442, the ancient star cluster was discovered in a survey of 300 distant galaxies carried out by the powerful Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

"Lo and behold, with no warning, BX442 and its spiral galaxy just popped out of the image. We couldn't believe it!" said Alice Shapley of the University of California Los Angeles, reported in Nature journal.

"We were not expecting such a beautiful pattern, given that the vast majority of star-forming galaxies in the early universe look so irregular and lumpy."

BX442 is the first "grand design" spiral galaxy to be observed so early in history.

Located 10.7 billion light years away, it was created some three billion years after the universe was born in a superheated flash.

A "grand design" galaxy formation is one with well-defined arms spiralling out in opposite directions from a central cluster of stars in a pattern resembling an "S", like our Milky Way.

Other galaxies observed this far back in time have irregular, clumpy structures, with conditions too hot to allow them to settle down into a spiral.

"The vast majority of old galaxies look like train wrecks," said Shapley.

"The discovery of BX442 tells us that a spiral pattern can form in the early universe, which we did not know," and represents a link between early, turbulent galaxies and the rotating spiral kind we find today.

Studying BX442 may help astronomers understand how spiral galaxies form.
Read more on:    astronomy
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius
 

6 impressive camping tips

Check out these great tips that will make your camping experience so much better!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Free outdoor yoga classes
Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding
Action camera for all occasions
Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong social and romantic overtone that plays its way into your day. It may get stronger later in the day when the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.