Scientists have discovered the most ancient spiral galaxy in the universe that existed almost 11 billion years ago.
The spiral galaxy could provide insights into the early cosmos, believe scientists.
The galaxy, known as A1689B11, existed just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only one-fifth of its present age.
Researchers used a powerful technique that combines gravitational lensing with the Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) on the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii to verify the vintage and spiral nature of the galaxy.
Gravitational lenses are nature's largest telescopes, created by massive clusters composed of thousands of galaxies and dark matter.
The cluster bends and magnifies the light of galaxies behind it in a manner similar to an ordinary lens, but on a much larger scale.Spiral Galaxy: Know More
- Spiral galaxies are exceptionally rare in the early universe, and this discovery opens the door to investigating how galaxies transition from highly chaotic, turbulent discs to tranquil, thin discs like those of our own Milky Way galaxy.
- This galaxy is forming stars 20 times faster than galaxies today ? as fast as other young galaxies of similar masses in the early universe.
- However, unlike other galaxies of the same epoch, A1689B11 has a very cool and thin disc, rotating calmly with surprisingly little turbulence.
- This type of spiral galaxy has never been seen before at this early epoch of the universe.