Jupiter James Webb

What if the first galaxies formed earlier than we thought?

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

And if the first galaxies formed Sooner than we thought ? According to early observations from the James Webb Space Telescope, this may be the case. For UCLA astronomy professor Tommaso Trio, “Somehow, the universe managed to form galaxies faster and earlier than we thought.”

The James Webb Telescope has discovered a very old galaxy

After five months of observations, James Webb It never ceases to amaze us. In particular, it studies the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang, the birth of our universe, which occurred 13.8 billion years ago. According to elaborate cosmological models, scientists thought finding them “would take time,” astrophysicist Cihan Kartaltepe puts it.

But James Webb is not a telescope like other telescopes. Many very old galaxies have already been discovered. One of them was found 350 million years after the Big Bang. And these galaxies are very luminous: “We immediately conclude that they are huge, and this raises a real mystery: How did they manage to form so many stars in such a short time?” asks Garth Illingworth, MD, of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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 ago. after the big bang. No one would have believed that the Dark Ages would have ended so soon. ” It is also possible that these galaxies harbor stars of the third group, very different from those we know. These are the extraordinarily bright stars that exist, so far, only in some theories.

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The James Webb Telescope has also detected the appearance of some of these galaxies: “Our team was shocked to be able to measure what these first galaxies looked like,” explains Erica Nelson, of the University of Colorado. “Their quiet, orderly disks challenge our understanding of how the first galaxies formed, in a young, chaotic universe.”

These questions are still far from answered, but one thing is certain, with this new space observatory, “we really are on track to fulfill this dream of understanding the galaxies of the earliest times,” enthuses Garth Illingworth.

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