the space telescope James Webb He made news again this Monday with new images that revealed the possibility of a new galaxy, much older and farther than the one discovered two weeks ago.
This was announced by an international team led by researchers from the University of Edinburgh, by identifying what could be the oldest and most distant galaxy observed to date.
The galaxy was baptized with the name of CEERS-93316 and so far it is emerging as the oldest galaxy observed. It is located about 35.000 million light years from planet earth. The galaxy is believed to be over 13.500 billion years old.
To be confirmed. This galaxy has been detected thanks to the first batch of data published by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) team. The draft that has been published in the ArXiv repository is awaiting peer review and publication in a scientific journal. In the meantime, the team continues to work to obtain more information about the galaxy to confirm the first results. These analyzes will include a complete spectrographic study of the object.
The importance of colour. Blue is the predominant color of the new galaxy, which due to its distance is impossible to be captured by the human eye, the James Webb telescope does the job to take images in these wavelengths.
Astronomers explain that blue is the color that predominates among young galaxies since they abound in stars of this color, which shine with great intensity but fade quickly, leaving room for those with reddish tones, which are longer-lived.
“[It is] quite blue, suggesting a young stellar population. But it's not blue enough for a galaxy made of metal-free stars." By metal-free stars, Callum Donnan, a researcher whose name heads the article's publication, refers to stars composed mainly of helium and hydrogen (and small amounts of lithium), the first elements to appear after the Big Bang. The rest of the elements would have arisen from these original stars.
Chained discoveries. A couple of weeks ago GLASS-z13 became the galaxy most distant and oldest to be detected. It was also the first batch of JWST data that identified this galaxy as one of the oldest and most distant. Located about 35.000 million light years from us, its image would have been emitted 13.500 million years ago, when the Universe as we know it was "only" about 500 million years old. He accompanied her on this discovery GLASS-z11, about 13.400 billion years old.
A few days later, Maisie's Galaxy was identified, which would have existed some 280 million years after the Big Bang. The list of ancient galaxies is expanding.
These discoveries are great news since to understand the first few hundred million years of our universe, the time when galaxies began to form, we need to have a good sample of examples. We have gone from having a single example of this to having at least five. And all this a few weeks after NASA published the first batch of data from the famous telescope.
However, this record is not expected to last long. the Webb Telescope is determined to capture more and more distant galaxies and unknown to impetuous astronomers around the world.
“We're using a telescope that was designed for just this kind of thing, and it's fascinating. It is allowing us to look back at the formation of the first stars and galaxies more than 13.500 billion years ago. Without a doubt, this is only the beginning of many important observations that will be made with this incredible instrument in the coming weeks, months and years,” explained Donnan.