The James Webb Space Telescope was launched with a rather specific mission: to capture the beginning of the universe as we know it. Well, after impressive images of the merger of galaxies and celestial structures, it seems that the telescope has taken a significant step towards its main goal. According to a group of astronomers from the University of Missouri, “James Webb” captured what could be first known galaxies in the universe.
A team of astronomers led by Haojing Yang, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Missouri, was responsible for the discovery. In my study, identified up to 87 galaxies with ages ranging from 200 to 400 million years. after the Big Bang, making them at least 13.6 billion years old. This not only allows us to study the first galactic structures of the universe with greater clarity. In addition, it shows that its formation occurred earlier than expected by members of the scientific community.
“The discovery of so many galaxies in the early parts of the universe suggests that we may need to revisit our previous understanding of galaxy formation,” Yan explains in a statement. He also claims that this discovery “gives us the first indication that many galaxies could have formed in the universe much earlier than previously thought“.
Here’s How James Webb Captured These Primordial Galaxies
To achieve the discovery of such distant and dim galaxies with the help of James Webb, a team of astronomers looked for galaxies with very high redshifts. Also known as redshift, a phenomenon that transfers visible light to the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum.. This is due to the expansion of the Universe and the movement of light over vast distances, stretching its structure when it reaches our region of space.
The higher the redshift index of a galaxy, the further away its light will be. This can be fixed thanks to NIRCam, MIRI and NIRSpec tools James Webb.
“If a light source is moving towards us, the light is ‘squeezing’ and this shorter wavelength is represented by blue light or blueshift, but if that source is moving away from us, the emitted light is ‘stretched’. and is shifted towards longer wavelength, which is represented by red light or redshift.”
Haojing Yang, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri
The discovery of such early galactic structures is directly based on the research of Edwin Hubble in the late 1920s. confirmed that the galaxies around us are receding. Thus, the farther away, the faster they are removed, increasing the redshift index. Thus, astronomers were able to reconstruct the history of the early universe.
While this isn’t the first time James Webb has discovered very distant galaxies, this discovery could change everything we know. However, at the time of this post galaxies in this study are still considered candidates. This means that the information disclosed must be verified and verified.
Source: Hiper Textual