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Citizen Scientists Probe Early Galaxies

The Hubble Space Telescope peers across the universe — imaging everything from the exquisite details of “nearby” galaxies millions of light-years away, to the blurry galaxies that formed only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Imaging the whole shebang allows astronomers to study the origin and evolution of galaxies, gaining insight into our own Milky Way Galaxy.

But many mysteries remain. Most spiral galaxies in the nearby universe, for example, have a bar in their center, with the spiral arms coming off it like streamers off the ends of a twirling baton. Although astronomers agree that these bars form when a galaxy passes from youth into adulthood, they disagree on the point in cosmic history at which this typically happens.

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