Spiral galaxies make up about 70 percent of all observed galaxies, some with large central bulges and tightly wound spiral arms like a fast-spinning ice skater, some with more wide-open arms and smaller bulges and some in various in-between states. NGC 2008, seen here in an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, is an Sc galaxy, with S signifying its spiral form and c indicating a small central bulge. The galaxy, located about 425 million miles from Earth in the constellation Pictor, was discovered in 1834 by astronomer John Herschel.
Astronomers are using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study aurorae — stunning light shows in a planet’s atmosphere — on the poles of the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter. This observation program is supported by measurements made by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, shortly to arrive at the gas giant.
A study just published by University of Texas at Austin assistant professor Steven Finkelstein and colleagues reveals that galaxies were more efficient at making stars when the universe was younger. The announcement explains the team’s discovery that there are a lot more bright, highly star-forming galaxies in the early universe than scientists previously thought.