NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has discovered the most distant galaxy known

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has discovered the galaxy JADES-GS-z14-0, the most distant galaxy yet discovered. It could have formed only about 300 million years after the Big Bang.
Enzo Campitella

Enzo Campitella 7 minutes

For the past two years, scientists have been using the James Webb Space Telescope a potIt, also known as the Webb or JWST, has been used for the past two years to explore what astronomers call the Cosmic Dawn. This region of the universe is where signals arrive from the first hundreds of millions of years after the Big Bang in which the first galaxies were born. These galaxies provide vital insight into the ways gases, stars and black holes changed when the universe was very young..

One of the fundamental questions in astronomy is: How did the first stars and galaxies form? This discovery indicates that the theory was not entirely correct. With each step taken in the research, more is known about the behavior of the universe, information coming to us from the “first moments” after the Big Bang.

In October 2023 and January 2024, an international team of astronomers used Webb to observe galaxies as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) programme. Using Webb's near-infrared spectrometer, they obtained a spectrum from a standard galaxy observed just two hundred and ninety million years after the Big Bang. In astronomical terms, this time scale after the Big Bang means it is a galaxy close to that special moment..

This corresponds to a redshift of about 14, a measure of how much the galaxy's light has been stretched by the expansion of the universe.. Stefano Cargnani, from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (Italy), and Kevin Heinlein, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, explain that this is a great discovery that provides very valuable information about unique properties related to the formation of galaxies. It is a major advance in understanding the deeper laws of the universe that we have been avoiding.

See also  Healthy hospitals to work: how should they be?

A galaxy far, far away that never ceases to amaze

“Webb's instruments were designed to find and understand the oldest galaxies, and in the first year of observations as part of JWST's Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES), they found several hundred candidate galaxies from the first 650 million years,” the scientists explain. After the Big Bang.” In early 2023 a galaxy was discovered with strong evidence of being above redshift 14, which is very exciting. But there were some characteristics of the font that made us not trust it.

This galaxy, JADES-GS-z14-0, was observed for approximately ten hours in January 2024, and when the spectrum was first processed, unambiguous evidence was obtained that the galaxy was indeed at a redshift of 14.32, breaking the previous record. . for the most distant galaxy, which was 13.2 for JADES-GS-z13-0. This seemingly complex data is a major milestone in primitive space exploration, and an achievement for man..

This amount of starlight indicates that the galaxy's mass is hundreds of millions of times that of the Sun, raising the question: How could nature create such a bright, massive, and large galaxy in less than 300 million years? The data reveals other important aspects of this amazing galaxy. It is noted that the color of the galaxy is not as blue as it should be, indicating that some of the light is turned red due to dust, even at these very early times..

See also  What and what advantages do they have and which are better to look at

At the beginning of the universe

JADES-GS-z14-0 was detected at longer wavelengths using Webb's MIRI (mid-infrared instrument), a remarkable achievement considering the distance, researcher Jake Helton of Steward Observatory and the University of Arizona also determined. MIRI's observation covers wavelengths of light emitted in the visible light range, which are red-shifted beyond the reach of Webb's near-infrared instruments.

Galaxy shine
Scientists obtain a map of the brightness of the most distant known galaxies. The latest one falls within 300 million years after the Big Bang.

GEC's analysis indicates that the brightness of the source indicated by the MIRI observation is higher than what can be extrapolated from measurements by other Webb instruments, indicating the presence of strong emission of ionized gas into the galaxy in the form of bright emission lines of hydrogen and oxygen. The presence of oxygen so early in the life of this galaxy is a surprise and indicates that multiple generations of very massive stars had already lived out their lives before we observed the galaxy..

Given the relatively small region of sky we searched to find JADES-GS-z14-0, its discovery has profound implications for the expected number of bright galaxies we see in the early universe. Astronomers are likely to find many of these luminous galaxies, perhaps from earlier times, over the next decade with Webb. These types of new telescopes allow us to go beyond what is known and observe the extraordinary diversity of galaxies that existed at cosmic dawn.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top