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Hubble views NGC 4654 in the constellation Virgo

It's easy to get swept up in the swirling starry arms of this intermediate spiral galaxy, NGC 4654, in the constellation Virgo. The galaxy has a bright center and is labeled "intermediate" because it has characteristics of ...

Galaxies breathe gas, and when they stop, no more stars form

For most of the history of astronomy, all we could see were stars. We could see them individually, in clusters, in nebulae, and in fuzzy blobs that we thought were clumps of stars but were actually galaxies. The thing is, ...

Webb spotlights gravitational arcs in 'El Gordo' galaxy cluster

A new image of the galaxy cluster known as "El Gordo" is revealing distant and dusty objects never seen before, and providing a bounty of fresh science. The infrared image, taken by NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, displays ...

Heat spots reveal growth rate of a galaxy 12 billion years ago

An international team of astronomers has drawn a temperature map of the dust drifting within one of the oldest spiral galaxies of the universe which provides new insights into how fast the galaxy is growing. Until now researchers ...

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Galaxy formation and evolution

The study of galaxy formation and evolution is concerned with the processes that formed a heterogeneous universe from a homogeneous beginning, the formation of the first galaxies, the way galaxies change over time, and the processes that have generated the variety of structures observed in nearby galaxies. It is one of the most active research areas in astrophysics.

Galaxy formation is believed to occur, from structure formation theories, as a result of tiny quantum fluctuations in the aftermath of the Big Bang. It is widely accepted that galaxy evolution occurs within the framework of a Λ Cold Dark Matter cosmology; that is to say that clustering and merging is how galaxies gain in mass, and can also determine their shape and structure.

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