What if the first galaxies formed earlier than we thought?

The James Webb Telescope has discovered a very ancient galaxy. This would date back to 350 million years after the Big Bang.

And if the first galaxies Was it formed earlier than we thought? According to initial observations from the James Webb Space Telescope, that may be the case. For UCLA University astronomy professor Tommaso Treu, “one way or another, the Universe managed to form galaxies faster and earlier than we thought.”

The James Webb Telescope has discovered a very ancient galaxy

After already five months of observations, James Webb never ceases to amaze us. In particular, he studies the first galaxies formed after the Big Bang, the birth of our Universe, which took place 13.8 billion years ago. And according to elaborate cosmological models, scientists thought it would “take some time” to find them, in the words of astrophysicist Jeyhan Kartaltepe.

But the James Webb is not a telescope like any other. Many new, very old galaxies have already been discovered. One of them existed 350 million years after the Big Bang. And these galaxies are extremely bright: “One immediately concludes that they are massive, and this raises a real puzzle: how could they form so many stars in such a short time?” asks Garth Illingworth of the University of California . in Santa Croce.

This would date back to 350 million years after the Big Bang.

To be so bright today, “these galaxies should have started forming perhaps only 100 million years after the Big Bang. No one would have believed the Dark Ages would end so soon. It could also be that these galaxies host population III stars, very different from those we know. These are extraordinarily bright stars that exist, to date, only in certain theories.

The James Webb telescope has also revealed what some of these galaxies look like: ‘Our team was impressed that we could measure the shape of these first galaxies,’ explained Erica Nelson of the University of Colorado. “Their quiet, orderly disks challenge our understanding of how the first galaxies formed, in a chaotic young universe.”

These questions are still far from being answered, but one thing is certain, with this new space observatory, “we are very well on our way to realizing this dream of understanding early galaxies,” enthuses Garth Illingworth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *