Release 936 of 1,072

Observes the Lost Ancestors to Our Milky Way Galaxy

Release date: Dec 6, 1994 1:00 PM (EST)

This NASA 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.