像其他天文学家一样，哈勃望远镜曾用于在天文图像中看到奇怪形状的模糊螺旋物体。他们都在争论这些东西是什么。在20世纪20年代早期，人们普遍认为它们只是一种称为星云的气体云。这些“螺旋状星云”是受欢迎的观测目标，并且考虑到目前对星际云的了解，我们花了很多精力来解释它们如何形成。他们是整个其他星系的想法甚至都不是考虑因素。当时人们认为整个宇宙被银河系封装 – 其程度由哈勃的竞争对手哈洛·沙普利精确测量。为了更好地了解这些物体的结构，哈勃使用100英寸的胡克反射器对几个螺旋状星云进行了非常详细的测量。正如他所观察到的那样，他在这些星系中发现了几个造父变星，包括一个在所谓的“仙女座星云”中。造父变星是变星，其距离可以通过测量它们的光度和它们的变化周期来精确确定。这些变量首先由天文学家Henrietta Swan Leavitt绘制和分析。她得出了哈勃用来发现他所看到的星云不能位于银河系内的“周期 – 光度关系”。这一发现最初在科学界遇到了极大的阻力，其中包括Harlow Shapley。具有讽刺意味的是，Shapley使用哈勃的方法来确定银河系的大小。然而，从银河系到哈勃的其他星系的“范式转变”对于科学家来说是一个艰难的接受。然而，随着时间的推移，哈勃望远镜作品的无可否认的完整性赢得了胜利，导致我们目前对宇宙的理解。
Like other astronomers, the Hubble telescope was used to see fuzzy spiral objects of strange shapes in astronomical images. They are all arguing about what these things are. In the early 1920s, it was widely believed that they were just a cloud of gas called a nebula. These “helical nebulae” are popular observation targets, and given the current understanding of interstellar clouds, we have put a lot of effort into explaining how they are formed. The idea that they are the entire family of galaxies is not even a factor. At that time, the whole universe was thought to be encapsulated by the Milky Way – the extent of which was accurately measured by Hubble’s competitor Harlow Shapley. To better understand the structure of these objects, Hubble used a 100-inch Hook reflector to make a very detailed measurement of several spiral nebulae. As he observed, he found several Cepheid variable stars in these galaxies, including one in the so-called “Andromeda Nebula”. Cepheid variable stars are variable stars whose distance can be accurately determined by measuring their luminosity and their period of change. These variables were first drawn and analyzed by astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt. She came up with a “cycle-photometric relationship” that Hubble used to discover that the nebulae he saw could not be located in the Milky Way. This discovery initially encountered great resistance in the scientific community, including Harlow Shapley. Ironically, Shapley uses Hubble’s method to determine the size of the Milky Way. However, the “paradigm shift” from the Milky Way to other galaxies in Hubble is a difficult acceptance for scientists. However, over time, the undeniable integrity of Hubble’s work has won the victory, leading us to our current understanding of the universe.