Sunday, June 23, 2024

It was born 11,700 million years ago… James Webb observes a distant galaxy that resembles the Milky Way.


Astronomers have observed an interesting phenomenon in the distant universe, a galaxy very similar to the Milky Way, and it challenges key theories about how galaxies form, according to a report produced by CNN.

The distant system, called CEERS-2112, was observed by an international team using the James Webb Space Telescope.

Like our parent galaxy, the newly discovered Ceers-2112 galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy and the most distant of its kind ever observed. The strip in the center of the structure is made of stars.

Circe-2112 formed after the Big Bang (estimated to be 13.8 billion years old), and the galaxy’s unique structure was already in place 2.1 billion years later.

When telescopes like James Webb observe light from the distant universe, it’s like looking back in time, considering the distance between Earth and objects from the early days of the universe.

“Unexpectedly, this discovery reveals that galaxies like ours already existed 11,700 million years ago, when the universe was “just 15 percent of its life span.”

According to the study, astronomers were surprised to find such an organized and well-organized galaxy at a time when other galaxies were so disorganized. Although massive spiral galaxies are common in the cosmic neighborhood of the Milky Way, this is not always the case.

The discovery, made possible by James Webb’s highly sensitive light-detecting capabilities, changed scientists’ understanding of galaxy formation and the early stages of the universe.

“The discovery of CERS-2112 shows that galaxies in the early universe may have been organized like the Milky Way,” study co-author Alexander de la Vega, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside, said in a statement.

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He added: “This is surprising because galaxies in the early universe were very chaotic, and some of them had structures similar to the Milky Way.”

Astrophysicists Pablo J. Perez Gonzalez (left) and Luca Costantin at the Astrobiology Center in Torrejon de Artos

Early evolution of barred spiral galaxies

Astronomers believed that barred spiral galaxies like the Milky Way did not appear until the Universe was half its current age, because it was believed that it took billions of years of galactic evolution for the massive clusters of stars within galaxies to form the core. Bars..

Bars form when stars orbit inside spiral galaxies in an organized manner, as they do in the Milky Way. Until now, astronomers did not believe that early galaxies were stable enough to form or sustain bars.

But the discovery of Ceers-2112 indicates that this evolution took about a billion years or less, de la Vega said.

“Almost all the bars are found in spiral galaxies,” he explained, adding, “The bar in CEERS-2112 indicates that the bar in CEERS-2112 has matured and organized much faster than we previously thought, meaning that some aspects of our theories about the formation and evolution of galaxies need to be revised.” ».

Dark matter

According to de la Vega, astronomers need to change theoretical models of how galaxies form and evolve by quantifying the amount of dark matter present in the first galaxies.

Although dark matter has not actually been discovered, it is thought to make up 85 percent of the total matter in the universe, as mapped by the European Space Agency’s Euclid telescope. Dark matter may have played a role in the formation of the bars.

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This finding also indicates that bars can be detected in early galaxies, even though the oldest galaxies are much smaller.

De la Vega emphasized that “the discovery of CEERS-2112 will pave the way for the discovery of more bars in the young universe,” and added: “At first, I thought that finding and estimating the properties of bars in galaxies like CEERS-2112 would be fraught with measurement uncertainties. ” “But the power of the James Webb Space Telescope and the expertise of our research team helped put strong constraints on the size and shape of the band.”

Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
"Professional coffee fan. Total beer nerd. Hardcore reader. Alcohol fanatic. Evil twitter buff. Friendly tv scholar."

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