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Astronomers have pieced together a detailed picture of how our Milky Way galaxy came together, using Hubble Space Telescope photos of 400 similar galaxies at various stages of evolution.
"For the first time we have direct images of what the Milky Way looked like in the past," study co-leader Pieter van Dokkum, of Yale University in New Haven, Conn., said in a statement.
"Of course, we can't see the Milky Way itself in the past. We selected galaxies billions of light-years away that will evolve into galaxies like the Milky Way," van Dokkum added. "By tracing the Milky Way's siblings, we find that our galaxy built up 90 percent of its stars between 11 billion and 7 billion years ago, which is something that has not been measured directly before."
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