Astronomers using the James Webb Space Telescope have discovered what they think may be the most distant galaxy ever seen – a red smudge 35 billion light-years away.
The galaxy, named CEERS-93316, was photographed as it existed only 235 million years after the great explosionUse web near Infrared The camera, which can gaze back in time to the early flashes of the first stars.
The new result, which is still preliminary and has not yet been confirmed by studying the galaxy’s light spectra, actually broke the previous record set by the telescope just a week ago, when another team discovered GLASS-z13, a galaxy that existed 400 million years after the Big Bang .
Related: See the deepest image of our universe ever taken, taken by the James Webb Telescope
light It has a finite speed, so as it walks to reach us, it rises back in time. The wavelengths of light from the oldest and most distant galaxies are also stretched by billions of years of travel through the expanding fabric of Spare time In a process known as redshift, which makes advanced infrared webcams essential for staring at Universe Closest moments.
The researchers, who outlined their findings in a paper published July 26 in the preprint database arXiv, he found that the newly discovered galaxy had a standard redshift of 16.7, which means that its light would have been stretched to become about 18 times redder than if the expanding universe had not moved the galaxy away from us. The results have not been peer-reviewed.
Webb’s extreme sensitivity to infrared frequencies means that it must be isolated from annoying heat signals a landthe telescope is now located in a gravitationally fixed location behind the moonIts orbit – known as the Lagrange Point – after being launched there from French Guiana on an Ariane 5 rocket on Christmas Day 2021.
During the six months following Webb’s launch, NASA engineers calibrated the telescope’s instruments and mirror parts in preparation for taking the first images. Their progress was halted briefly after it unexpectedly hit the telescope by Meteorite Sometime between May 23 and May 25. leave the effect “Irreversible” damage to a small part of the telescope mirrorbut this does not appear to have affected its performance, Live Science previously reported.
Since the telescope released its first stunning images on July 12, it has been flooding the web with images of fascinating distant objects. The newly described standard image was acquired during Early Cosmic Evolution Scientific Publication Survey (CEERS) Deep and wide-field survey of the sky with a telescope. .
Remarkably, the researchers who found the image did not look even for the most distant galaxy on record. Instead, they compiled a list of 55 early galaxies (44 of which were previously observed) to check how bright they were at various points in time after the Big Bang – a measure that gives them important insight into the evolution of young people. Universe.
To confirm that the galaxy is as old as its redshift, astronomers will use spectroscopy to analyze the volume of light across a range of wavelengths of all galaxies found by Webb’s Near Infrared Spectrograph so far. This instrument uses adjustable mirrors 0.1 mm long and 0.2 mm wide that only allow light from the target galaxies to enter, and adjust the background radiation so astronomers can break down the galaxy’s stars by color. This effort will reveal not only the age of the galaxies’ light, but also their chemical composition, size and temperature.
Astronomers believe that the first stars, which were first born from collapsed clouds of gas about 100 million years after the Big Bang, were primarily composed of lighter elements, such as hydrogen and helium. Later stars began to fuse these lighter elements to form heavier elements, such as oxygen, carbon, lead, and gold.
Given the astonishing rate of Webb’s discoveries, along with his ability to look back as much as 100 million years after the Big Bang, it’s unlikely that this is the most distant galaxy we’ll see. The telescope will likely break its records for much more in the coming months – and we can’t wait to see more.
Originally published on Live Science.