Monday June 17, 2024

Earliest galaxies, formed 600 million years ago, found by Nasa's JWST

Three oldest galaxies of our universe have been spotted by Nasa's James Webb Space Telescope

By Web Desk
May 25, 2024
James Webb Telescope finds oldest galaxies of universe. — Unsplash/File
James Webb Telescope finds oldest galaxies of universe. — Unsplash/File

James Webb Space Telescope operating astronomers have discovered what they describe are three of our universe’s earliest galaxies.

They were actively spotted forming when the cosmos was just 400 million to 600 million years old, according to Space.

Feeding on nearby helium and hydrogen, this galactic trio resembles fuzzy red smudges in the JWST’s pictures. Helping to shape them into known eclipses and spirals we witness across the cosmos, it is these elements that sustain such galaxies as they grow over millions of years.

"You could say that these are the first ‘direct’ images of galaxy formation that we've ever seen," study lead author Kasper Elm Heintz, who is an astrophysicist at the Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN) in Denmark, said in a statement. "Whereas James Webb has previously shown us early galaxies at later stages of evolution, here we witness their very birth, and thus, the construction of the first star systems in the universe."

Our universe was ushered into darkness about 400,000 years after the Big Bang. After space had cooled down enough from its formerly chaotic scorching self and moved to allow neutral hydrogen atoms to form, this happened.

"This is the process that we see the beginning of in our observations," study co-author Darach Watson said in the university statement.