Astronomers have no discovered the oldest spiral galaxy yet, which has helped them answer a burning question in astronomy - "How and when did spiral galaxies form?".
Astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and located a galaxy that had a spiral that dated to 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. The discovery of this galaxy has broken all previous records before it and is now the most ancient spiral galaxy humans have ever observed. For those that don't know, 70% of galaxies are spiral galaxies, and one of those galaxies is ours - The Milky Way Galaxy.
However, looking back in time at the history of the universe, astronomers found that the proportion of spiral galaxies began to decrease, which suggests that there was a time when spiral galaxies began to form. Leading from that question is "why and how".
Takafumi Tsukui, at SOKENDAI, the graduate university for advanced studies, and the lead author of the research paper, "I was excited because I had never seen such clear evidence of a rotating disk, spiral structure, and centralized mass structure in a distant galaxy in any previous literature. The quality of the ALMA data was so good that I was able to see so much detail that I thought it was a nearby galaxy."
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