She and colleagues confirm for an earlier period than ever before that the shapes and colors of these extremely distant young galaxies fit the visual classification system introduced in 1926 by Edwin Hubble and known as the Hubble Sequence.
Lee explained that this was a key question: When, and over what timescale did the Hubble Sequence form?
She said that the Hubble Sequence underpins a lot of what we know about how galaxies form and evolve.
This set of galaxy types is known as the Hubble sequence.
The real challenge for those of us studying the origin of galaxies is to try to understand the steps by which the Hubble sequence came into being," says Ellis.
The astronomers show that the Hubble sequence six billion years ago was very different from the one that astronomers see today.
A team of European astronomers led by Francois Hammer of the Observatoire de Paris has, for the first time, completed a census of galaxy types at two different points in the Universe's history in effect, creating two Hubble sequences - that help explain how galaxies form.