A discovery from the James Webb Space Telescope could change how science understands the creation of the universe

This image provided by NASA and the European Space Agency shows images of six massive galaxies, seen between 500 and 800 million years after the Big Bang. (NASA via AP)

the Huge galaxies It is a cluster containing the mass (mostly dark matter) of about 100 billion stars. Now, in new research, six massive galaxies have been identified in the early universe, which are changing what scientists previously knew about the origins of the universe.

These objects are much larger than anyone expected. We expected to find young, young galaxies at this time, but we discovered mature galaxies like our own in what was once known as the dawn of beingexplained Joel Lega, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State, who modeled the light from these galaxies.

Using the first dataset published before NASA’s James Webb Space Telescopethe international team of scientists discovered mature bodies such as milky way When the universe was only 3% of its current age, about 500-700 million years later the great explosion.

The telescope is equipped with infrared detectors that are able to identify the light emitted by the oldest stars and galaxies. “The telescope basically allows scientists to look back in time about 13.5 billion years, near the beginning of the universe as we know it,” Lega explained.

Massive galaxies are a group containing the mass (mostly dark matter) of 100 trillion stars.

In an article published in natureresearchers show evidence that the six galaxies are much more massive than anyone expected and challenge what scientists previously knew about the formation of galaxies in the early universe.

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“This is our first look so far, so it’s important that we keep an open mind about what we’re looking at. While the data suggests they are likely galaxies, I think there is a real possibility that some of these objects will morph into black holes The hidden supercluster. Regardless, the magnitude of what we’re detecting means that known mass in stars in this period of our universe has arrived 100 times larger than we previously thought. Even if we cut the sample in half, Lega argued, it’s still a nice change.

The results challenge previously established notions. “The revelation that the formation of massive galaxies began much earlier in the history of the universe turns what many of us believed on its head. We informally called these universe-breaking objects, and so far they still live up to their names,” Lega said. “.

Infrared images from the James Webb Space Telescope were released earlier this month.

The scientist explained that the galaxies discovered by the team are so massive that they are in tension with 99% For cosmology models. Calculating such a large amount of mass would require either changing cosmological models or revising the scientific understanding of galaxy formation in the early universe: that galaxies began as small clouds of stars and dust that grew incrementally over time.

“Either scenario would require a fundamental change in our understanding of how the universe came to be. We are looking at the universe very primitive For the first time and we had no idea what we would find. It turns out that we are dealing with something so unexpected that it creates problems for science. It casts doubt on the whole picture of early galaxy formation.”

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On July 12, NASA released the first full-color images and spectral data from the James Webb Space Telescope. The largest infrared telescope in space is designed to view the origins of the universe, its high resolution allowing it to see objects too old, distant, or faint for the Hubble Space Telescope.

The James Webb Telescope used in this research previously revealed stunning images of the oldest galaxies (NASA).

“When we got the data, everyone started to dive into their analytics and These huge objects appeared visible very quickly. We started modeling and trying to figure out what it was, because it was so big and shiny. My first thought was that we had made a mistake and that we would find it and move on without any fundamental changes. But we still have to find this error, which we haven’t been able to do despite many attempts,” Lega said.

One way to confirm the team’s findings and allay any remaining concerns, Lega explained, would be to take a spectroscopic image of the massive galaxies. That would provide the team with data on the actual distances, as well as on the gases and other elements that made up the galaxies. The team can then use the data to model a clearer picture of what the galaxies look like and how massive they really are.

A ghost will immediately tell us if these things exist TRUE, or not. It will show us how big it is and how far away it is. The funny thing is we all have these things we hope to learn from James Webb and this one wasn’t near the top of the list. “We found something we never wanted to ask the universe about,” Lega said.

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Other co-authors on the paper are Elijah Matthews and Bingjie Wang from Penn State, Ivo Labe from Swinburne Tech, Peter van Dokkum from Yale University, Erika Nelson from the University of Colorado, Rachel Besanson from the University of Pittsburgh, and Catherine. a. Seuss from the University of California and Stanford University, Gabrielle Brammer from the University of Copenhagen, Kathryn Whittaker from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Copenhagen, and Mauro Stefanon from the University of Valencia.

Read on

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