Galaxies: snapshots in time

This sequence of NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of remote galaxies offers tantalizing initial clues to the evolution of galaxies in the universe.

[far left column]
These are traditional spiral and elliptical-shaped galaxies that make up the two basic classes of island star cities that inhabit the universe we see in our current epoch (14 billion years after the birth of the universe in the Big Bang). Elliptical galaxies contain older stars, while spirals have vigorous ongoing star formation in their dusty, pancake-shaped disks. Our Milky Way galaxy is a typical spiral, or disk-shaped galaxy, on the periphery of the great Virgo cluster. Both galaxies in this column are a few tens of millions of light-years away, and therefore represent our current stage of the universe's evolution.


A. Dressler (Carnegie Institutions of Washington), M. Dickinson (STScI), D. Macchetto (ESA/STScI), M. Giavalisco (STScI), and NASA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:6 December 1994, 19:00
Size:750 x 650 px

About the Object

Type:Early Universe : Galaxy

Image Formats

Large JPEG
109.5 KB
Screensize JPEG
197.7 KB

Colours & filters

Optical Hubble Space Telescope

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