NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has discovered a previously unobserved “land” of galaxies from the early days of the universe.
In a new study published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, researchers say they have discovered galaxies that existed about 400 million years after the Big Bang.
And these galaxies are so bright that they’re apparently making researchers reconsider what we know about their formations.
“These observations just blow your mind,” Paola Santini, one of the authors of a paper describing the new findings, said in a statement.
“This is a whole new chapter in astronomy. It’s like an archaeological dig and suddenly you find a lost city or something you didn’t know about. It’s just amazing.”
Scientists have been able to discover the “land” of galaxies using NASA’s newest observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope.
Thanks to James Webb, scientists have been able to observe stars and galaxies older than we have seen before.
In the study, the researchers point to one of the newly discovered galaxies, GLASS-z12, which is 50 million years older than the previous record holder at 350 million years.
And age isn’t the only difference between these galaxies and those we’ve observed.
They have incredibly different shapes and are also more condensed into spheres or discs that are smaller than our own.
Another special feature of these galaxies is that they are converting gas into stars faster than we are used to seeing.
This also means that they could have formed stars about 100 million years after the universe was formed.
“We nailed something incredibly fascinating. These galaxies might not have come together until 100 million years after the Big Bang,” Garth Illingworth of the University of California, Santa Cruz, a member of the research team, said in a statement.
“No one expected the Dark Ages to end so soon. The primordial universe would have been only one-hundredth of its current age. It’s a fraction of the time in the 13.8 billion year old evolving cosmos.”
One of the observations that baffles scientists, however, is the sheer brightness of these galaxies.
However, they hope that by looking at more of Webb’s observations, they can find out.
“Everything we see is new. Webb shows us that there is a very rich universe beyond what we imagined,” said Tommaso Treu, one of the investigators in a Webb program.
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/news-tech/9751249/nasa-country-galaxies-james-webb-space-telescope/ NASA discovers an “undiscovered land of galaxies” with the James Webb Space Telescope.