Hubble Observes the Lost Ancestors to Our Milky Way Galaxy

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of the central portion of a remote cluster of galaxies (CL 0939+4713) as it looked when the universe was two-thirds of its present age. Hubble's high resolution allows astronomers to study, for the first time, the shapes of galaxies as they were long ago.

The Space Telescope pictures are sharp enough to distinguish between various forms of spiral galaxies. Most of the spiral, or disk, galaxies have odd features, suggesting they were easily distorted within the environment of the rich cluster. Hubble reveals a number of mysterious "fragments" of galaxies interspersed through the cluster.


Alan Dressier (Carnegie Institution) and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:6 December 1994, 19:00
Size:4337 x 4164 px

About the Object

Name:CL 0939+4713
Type:• Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster
Distance:z=0.406 (redshift)
Constellation:Ursa Major

Image Formats

Large JPEG
4.9 MB
Screensize JPEG
394.5 KB


Position (RA):9 42 58.84
Position (Dec):46° 59' 16.85"
Field of view:1.31 x 1.26 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 88.3° left of vertical

Colours & filters

702 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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