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News Release 73 of 84

July 24, 1995 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1995-08

Hubble Sheds Light on the "Faint Blue Galaxy" Mystery

July 24, 1995: Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have solved a 20-year-old mystery by showing that a class of galaxies once thought to be rare is actually the most common type of galaxy in the universe.

Analyzing some of the deepest images ever taken of the heavens, the astronomers conclude that small irregular objects called "blue dwarfs" were more numerous several billion years ago, outnumbering giant elliptical galaxies and spiral galaxies like our Milky Way. This means that blue dwarfs are a more important constituent of the universe and figure more prominently in the evolution of galaxies than previously thought.

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Credit: Rogier Windhorst and Simon Driver (Arizona State University), Bill Keel (University of Alabama), and NASA