Sunday, July 24, 2022

Webb Space Telescope Reveals Millions Of Galaxies Like Our Own In Early Universe

11:47 PM | ,

The early universe had 10 times more galaxies identical to the Milky Way than was originally thought.

This cosmological revelation is the result of one of the first investigations of images obtained by the new James Webb Space Telescope from NASA.

JWST can magnify the primordial universe. This gave us insights into objects in space that we knew existed but whose formation we did not comprehend.

Disc galaxies dominate the galaxy population nowadays, as is well knowledge. Our galaxy is a disc, and our closest neighbor, Andromeda, which is 2.5 million light-years away, is also a disc. Three-quarters of neighboring galaxies are discs, yet it was previously believed that they originated late in the universe's development.

Before the James Webb Space Telescope, scientists were unable to see so far back in time.

The new research, which was published on Arxiv, used the telescope's first picture release.

This picture depicts the SMACS 0723 cluster of galaxies in the foreground. This immense quantity of objects has intensified the light of background galaxies in the furthest reaches of the universe, making them visible for the first time. Just 600 million years after the Big Bang, some of these galaxies existed.

Webb, with its 6.5-meter-wide golden mirror and ultrasensitive infrared equipment, is able to distinguish and count their forms.

"We knew we would see stuff Hubble didn't notice. But in this case, we're seeing things differently," said Prof Conselice, who will be presenting some of his discoveries on Saturday 23 July at the Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire.

The age of the universe is about 13.8 billion years, thus the photos seen by the JWST reveal the processes that generated stars and planets far before our own existence.

"These are the processes we need to understand if we want to understand our origins," said Prof Conselice.

"This might be the most important telescope ever," he added. "At least since Galileo's."

James Webb is a collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, with NASA taking the lead.

Reference(s): Research Paper

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