Hubble Finds Galaxy That Shouldn’t Exist

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I’m a bit of a space nut. Teaching Grade 3 Science, we did a space unit which was always the hardest unit. Like space itself, the areas to explore would often seem so endless and impossible to condense into a small unit. New things would come up every year that would always make me want to extend the unit or get side tracked.

In another example of something that I could sidetracked on, a recent article came out describing the existence of a galaxy, that according to current scientific thought, shouldn’t actually exist and has helped reframe our thoughts on the formation of galaxies and the age of the universe. From the article, the scientists explained that,

Current wisdom holds that such ‘grand-design’ spiral galaxies simply didn’t exist at such an early time in the history of the universe.The hallmark of a grand design galaxy is its well-formed spiral arms, but getting into this conformation takes time. When astronomers look at most galaxies as they appeared billions and billions of years ago, they look clumpy and irregular. A 10.7-billion-year-old entity, BX442 came into existence a mere 3-billion years after the Big Bang. That’s not a lot of time on a cosmic time scale, and yet BX442 looks surprisingly put together.

But it was what was mentioned at the end of the article that really struck me as a teacher.

BX442 is the best kind of discovery; not only does this galaxy set a new benchmark by way of its cosmic seniority, it’s also super weird — weirder than what anyone thought was possible. In science, these are the finds that help us rework our understanding of nature, the discoveries that force us to step back from what we thought we knew, re-assess our preconceived notions, and bring forth a newer, more fully formed view of our Universe.

Such a powerful statement. This is what science in schools should be about.

Read the full article here.