Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have stumbled on a rare and surprising find: A very distant spiral galaxy, swirling billions of light years away, which formed at a time when such spiral galaxies were thought to be nonexistent. Researchers say it’s an astounding discovery — partly because it raises some questions about prevailing theories of galaxy formation.
Today in pretty space pics: Hubble snaps the northern half of spiral galaxy NGC 981 in profile. The central galactic bulge is just out of frame to the lower left, leaving us with a close-up spanning roughly 100,000 light years that lets us look right through its plane of gas and dust.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.