The James Webb Space Telescope never ceases to amaze scientists with new observations it obtains almost daily of the universe that surrounds us. The early universe research project Earley Release Science (CEERS) is using its capabilities and has just revealed the results of the missions that have been carried out.
Months of observing the farthest galaxies of the visible universe have been used to create a short but impressive visualization summarizing a journey through 5,000 galaxies in 3D to the past.
This 3D visualization shows that several galaxies are within a small portion of the CEERS survey, which collected data from a region known as the Extended Groth Strip. As the camera moves away from the viewer’s view, each second is equivalent to traveling 200 million light-years in the data set and looking another 200 million years in the past.
On this run, the galaxies’ appearances change, reflecting the fact that the most distant objects were seen at earlier times in the universe, when galaxies were less developed. The piece ends its course in the Maisie Galaxy, which formed just 390 million years after the Big Bang, about 13.4 billion years ago.
The region highlighted in this visualization is a small part of the Extended Groth Strip, a region between the constellations Ursa Major and Bootes that was originally observed by the Hubble Space Telescope between 2004 and 2005. While this vast region contains about 100,000 galaxies, only That visualization focuses on nearly 5,000 of them, including the nearest and most complex galaxies, shown at the beginning of the piece, located just a few billion light-years from Earth.
As the visualization progresses and galaxies farther away from Earth are shown, different stages in the history and evolution of the universe can be seen. “I’ve been working on the James Webb project for 17 years, and last year we started to revolutionize views of the universe and generate amazement around the world about the images taken by space telescopes,” astrophysicist Begoña Vila Costas explained in a recent note with Infobae. , chief systems engineer for the James Webb Telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
A trip back in time
The farthest in view, known as Maisie’s Galaxy, is a target of great interest to astronomers. It was formed about 390 million years after the Big Bang, which is about 13.4 billion years ago. Not only is it one of the first extremely distant and bright galaxies Webb has found, but it is also an example of an early galaxy that only this telescope can see.
This is because their instruments can capture the light from these early galaxies, which was converted into infrared wavelengths by the expansion of the universe.
“This observatory opens up this entire period for us to study,” said Rebecca Larson of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, one of the survey researchers. Before, we couldn’t study galaxies like the Macy’s because we couldn’t see them. Now, not only can we find them in our images, but we can also learn what they’re made of and if they differ from the galaxies we see nearby.”
For his part, Stephen Finkelstein of the University of Texas at Austin, principal investigator of the CEERS program, continued: “This observation exceeded our expectations. The sheer number of galaxies we discovered in the early universe is at the high end of all expectations. The observatory’s ability to conduct studies like this provides a showcase of Web tools for astronomers to refer to for future observations.”
This video not only shows how far Webb can see, but also how much it builds on Hubble’s achievements. In many cases, the Hubble observations, combined with Webb data from the CEERS survey, allowed researchers to determine which galaxies were really far away (those in the early universe, for example) and which were nearby but so dusty that their visible light was dim. . With these observations, the researchers’ next goal is to learn about star formation in these early galaxies.
Every second is equivalent to traveling 200 million light-years in the data set and seeing another 200 million years in the past (NASA)
“We’re used to thinking that galaxies grow smoothly,” Finkelstein said. But maybe these stars are shaped like firecrackers. Are these galaxies giving life to more stars than expected? Are the stars they form more massive than we expect? This data gave us the information to ask these questions. Now, we need more data to get these answers.”
The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. He solves mysteries in our solar system, looks beyond the distant worlds around other stars, and investigates mysterious structures, the origins of the universe, and man’s place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency. (With information from Infobae)