Astronomers have discovered a 10.7 billion year old galaxy they say shouldn’t exist. This ancient galaxy was discovered by UCLA astrophysicist Alice Shapley and her team who thought they had made an error when they first discovered the ‘grand design’ spiral galaxy.
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After further observation it became clear that this ancient galaxy is in fact the real deal. The ancient galaxy has been creatively named “BX442”.
The hallmark of a grand design galaxy is its well-formed spiral arms, but getting into this conformation takes time. When astronomers look at most galaxies as they appeared billions and billions of years ago, they look clumpy and irregular. A 10.7-billion-year-old entity, BX442 came into existence a mere 3-billion years after the Big Bang.
For such a well organized, colossal galaxy to form and keep its shape is unprecedented. Astronomers believe the ancient galaxy, BX442, kept it’s shape through the gravitational pull and sway of a nearby dwarf galaxy which is on a collision course with it.
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The discovery of this well formed beautiful ancient galaxy has set a new benchmark in cosmological inquiry and understanding. Any find that forces us to rethink and reevaluate is a worthwhile discovery. The galaxy we live in is called the Milky Way Galaxy, and Space.com tells us that:
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, about 100,000 light-years across. If you could look down on it from the top, you would see a central bulge surrounded by four large spiral arms that wrap around it. Spiral galaxies make up about two-third of the galaxies in the universe.
I think it’s fairly obvious what is going on though. Our distant galactic neighbors have perfected the art of intentional galactic-forming.
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