Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope's famous Ultra-Deep Field (UDF) observation, astronomers have been able to deduce at what age spiral galaxies acquire their spiral structure. Since its launch in 1990, the veteran observatory has studied countless galaxies, but some of the most striking images are that of the majestic spirals that pervade the entire observable universe. In this celebration of spiral galaxies and Hubble's prowess at imaging them, we've collected some of our favorite galactic views from the space telescope's archives.
In this majestic image, phenomenal detail in galaxy NGC 2841's spiraling dust lanes have been captured.
Spiral galaxy NGC 5866 as seen nearly edge-on from Hubble's perspective. The dark galactic dust silhouettes the bright galactic core.
An unnamed spiral galaxy located deep within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, around 320 million light-years away in the northern constellation Coma Berenices, shows off some intricate detail in its arms.
The famous Sombrero galaxy (Messier 104) is an edge-on spiral galaxy -- the "rim" of the sombrero is thick lanes of dust obscuring the galaxy's starlight.
M81 is another spiral galaxy not too dissimilar to our Milky Way. Young, bluish stars track along the galaxy's majestic arms, while older, redder stars cluster in its bright core.
This unique view of M106 is a combination of Hubble data and photographs taken by astrophotographer Robert Gendler.
The 'classic' spiral Whirlpool Galaxy gravitationally interacts with a neighboring galaxy, refining its very clear spiral arms.
To celebrate Hubble's 21st year in space, astronomers released this striking image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. (Image rotated)
The 3 galaxies of Arp 274 appear to be very close to one another, but astronomers believe that they are far apart and only overlapping from our perspective.
Galaxy UGC 10214 is undergoing some violent gravitational disturbances after a suspected galactic collision. The creation of the stream of stars post-collision appear as a tail, giving the galaxy "The Tadpole" moniker.