Hubble has spotted an ancient galaxy that shouldn’t exist
This galaxy is so large, so fully-formed, astronomers say it shouldn’t exist at all. It’s called a “grand-design” spiral galaxy, and unlike most galaxies of its kind, this one is old. Like, really,reallyold. According to a new study conducted by researchers using NASA’s Hubble Telescope, it dates back roughly 10.7-billion years — and that makes it the most ancient spiral galaxy we’ve ever discovered.
"The vast majority of old galaxies look like train wrecks," said UCLA astrophysicist Alice Shapley in a press release. "Our first thought was, why is this one so different, and so beautiful?"
Fun fact: Trillions upon trillions of the Sun’s particles strike Earth every second. The only force stopping this is our magnetic field which energizes the particles at the poles and causes the gas molecules in our atmosphere to glow. Oxygen turns green, nitrogen turns red or blue, etc. This creates what we know as an Aurora Borealis.