NASA’s James Webb Telescope reveals millions of galaxies

SMACS 0723: The red arcs in the image trace light from galaxies in the very early universe

There were 10 times more galaxies like our Milky Way in the early universe than previously thought.

This cosmic insight comes from the first studies captured by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope.

One of its authors, Professor Christopher Conselice of the University of Manchester, UK, said Webb could “zoom in on the early universe”.

This yielded insights about things in space that “we knew existed but didn’t understand how and when they formed.”

The researcher explained that disc galaxies dominate today’s “clusters of galaxies.”

Our galaxy is a disk, Andromeda (our nearest neighbor, 2.5 million light-years from Earth) is a disk.

“Three-quarters of the nearby galaxies are disks, but they are thought to have formed late in the evolution of the universe,” he told BBC News.

That was before the James Webb Space Telescope gave astronomers a point back in time.

The study, which was posted on a preprint server, which means it has not yet been reviewed by other scientists in the field, used the first image released from the telescope.

This image shows a foreground galaxy cluster called SMACS 0723. The gravity of this massive mass of objects amplified the light of galaxies in the background, in the distant universe, making them visible for the first time. Some of these galaxies existed only 600 million years after the Big Bang.

Carina Nebula

Webb takes some amazing photos: ‘This might be the most important telescope ever’

Webb, with his 6.5-meter wide gold mirror and ultra-sensitive infrared instruments, is able to identify and count their shapes.

“We knew we’d see things Hubble didn’t. But in this case we see things differently,” said Professor Conselis, who will present some of his findings on Saturday 23 July at the Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire. .

The universe is about 13.8 billion years old, so the images captured by JWST are glimpses of the processes that formed stars and planets long before our appearance.

“These are the processes we need to understand if we want to understand our origins,” Professor Koncells said.

“This might be the most important telescope ever,” he added. At least since Galileo.

James Webb is a joint effort of the US, European and Canadian space agencies, with NASA at the fore.

James Webb

James Webb

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