The spiral galaxy A1689B11 hides behind a massive galactic cluster functioning as a lens.
Astronomers from Swinberg University of Technology confirmed the most ancient spiral-type galaxy found. A1689B11 was formed 11 billion years ago, just 2.6 billion years after the Big Bang event.
For the search, the gravitational lensing of the NIFS spectrograph using the Gemini telescope (Hawaii) was used. Gravity lenses are the largest natural telescopes created by massive clusters represented by thousands of galaxies and dark matter. The cluster bends and increases the glow of distant galaxies. This method allows you to study the details of ancient galaxies in high resolution. It is possible to consider literally the process of creating the first primitive spiral arms.
Spiral galaxies are rare specimens in the early Universe, so the discovery allows us to study the evolutionary process. In addition, the galaxy A1689B11 shows interesting features. Stars are born 20 times faster, and there is also a thin and cool disk with weak turbulence.