Ancient spiral galaxy is 11 billion years old

galaxy illustration
The oldest known spiral galaxy was spotted thanks to a cluster of galaxies in front of it acting as a gravitational lens. That effect helped astronomers produce two magnified images of the galaxy in different positions (insets within this artist’s illustration).

Astronomers have spotted a spiral galaxy more ancient than any seen before.

The galaxy, called A1689B11, emitted its light 11 billion years ago, just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang. Researchers had previously reported a spiral galaxy that dates to 10.7 billion years ago.

Astronomer Tiantian Yuan at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia and colleagues found the new record-holder thanks to a closer…

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