Today's Spiral Galaxies Were Once the Ugly Ducklings
By SPACE.com Staff
posted: 08 February 2010
09:26 am ET
Beautiful spiral galaxies grew out of odd shapes that astronomers say were the ugly ducklings of the early universe.
It's long been assumed that galaxies grow over time, and shapes change. But the main construction phase for many modern galaxies was thought to have occurred close to the beginning of time, the first few billion years after the theoretical Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago.
Contrary to this conventional view, nearly half of the spiral galaxies of today, like our Milky Way, had peculiar shapes just 6 billion years ago — more recently than had been thought, the study found.
If confirmed, the finding highlights the importance to many galaxies of collisions and mergers in the recent past. It also provides clues for the unique status of our own galaxy,
|Liveleak on Facebook|