Astronomers have discovered a three-armed spiral galaxy dating back nearly 11 billion years — much older than similarly structured objects that are common in the modern universe. The discovery was so jarring, scientists at first didn’t believe their data.
“Our first thought was that we must have the wrong distance for the galaxy,” lead researcher David Law, with the University of Toronto, told Discovery News. “Then we thought perhaps it was the human brain playing tricks on us. If you look at enough blobby, weird-looking galaxies sooner or later, like a Rorschach blob test, you start to pick out patterns whether or not they’re there,”