CANDELS galaxies reveal the Hubble Sequence throughout the Universe's history

The previous release images were illustrative, designed to show how different galaxy types change as we go back in time. This image has been added to show several of the actual galaxies that were observed during Hubble's CANDELS survey, and used as part of this study.

This image shows "slices" of the Universe at different times throughout its history (present day, and at 4 and 11 billion years ago). Each slice goes further back in time, showing how galaxies of each type appear. The shape is that of the Hubble tuning fork diagram, which describes and separates galaxies according to their morphology into spiral (S), elliptical (E), and lenticular (S0) galaxies. On the left of this diagram are the ellipticals, with lenticulars in the middle, and the spirals branching out on the right side. The spirals on the bottom branch have bars cutting through their centres.

The galaxies in the "4 billion years" and "11 billion years" slides are all taken from CANDELS data. The present-day Universe shows big, fully formed and intricate galaxy shapes. As we go further back in time, they become smaller and less mature, as these galaxies are still in the process of forming. As far back as 11 billion years, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the different types visually, but this new study has found the sequence to be in place at these times.


NASA, ESA, M. Kornmesser; the CANDELS team (H. Ferguson)

About the Image

Release date:15 August 2013, 15:00
Related releases:heic1315
Size:6550 x 3200 px

About the Object

Name:Hubble Galaxy Classification
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy
Early Universe : Cosmology

Image Formats

r.titleLarge JPEG
4.0 MB
r.titleScreensize JPEG
73.8 KB


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