Pushing the Limits on What We Actually Know

'Ali Ajami

To  most people, the whitish smudge in the picture certainly doesn’t look like the kind of thing that can set the scientific community on its head. Quite honestly, it probably isn’t; it certainly doesn’t rank up there with the recent discovery of the (or at least a) Higgs Boson. Yet in some ways it is as important in the grand scheme of things because, like with all discoveries, it leaves us with a better understanding of the world around us than we had before.

This picture shows a Spiral Galaxy from around 3 billion years after the Big Bang took place (for the record, we are now about 13.7 billion years on), and prior to this discovery by Hubble, Astronomers had thought that Spiral Galaxies did not exist at that time. The situation in the universe simply was not right for various reasons. Yet here it is, shouting at us…

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