Australian researchers have studied the oldest spiral galaxy to date using a combination of conventional man-made telescopes and natural telescopes.

The latter telescopes are made of clusters comprising thousands of galaxies and dark matter, which allow scientists to peer through the cosmos and study far-away objects with unprecedented resolution.

“We are able to look 11 billion years back in time and directly witness the formation of the first, primitive spiral arms of a galaxy,” said Dr Tiantian Yuan, an astronomer at Swinburne University of Technology.

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