Two new images from the James Webb Space Telescope show galaxies of many shapes and sizes, nearby, farther away and may be some of the most distant galaxies ever observed. Both images include objects from more than 13,000 million years ago and offer a much wider field of view than Webb’s first deep-field image released on July 12, Spain’s Center for Astrobiology (CAB) reported. .
These are some of the first images obtained as part of the CEERS project (English Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science Survey). This major collaboration, using the new space telescope, is studying how some of the oldest galaxies formed when the universe was less than 5% of its current age, during a period known as reionization. Composed of eighteen researchers from twelve institutions, including Pablo G.
In the first week of data analysis, the team identified a particularly interesting object: a galaxy they named May, after the daughter of project manager Steven Finkelstein. This galaxy is believed to have existed only 300 million years after the Big Bang. The data, which took about 24 hours to collect, is from a section of the sky near the tail of the Big Dipper.
This same area of the sky was previously observed by the Hubble Space Telescope, known as the Extended Growth Fringe. “It’s amazing to see how what was a point of light for Hubble now becomes a full galaxy with beautiful structures for Webb.” Not only that, other galaxies appear out of nowhere!” says Finkelstein, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Texas (Austin, USA) and principal investigator of CEERS.
The extremely sharp images from the CEERS project have not only helped to discover distant galaxies, they also show many interesting and beautiful objects, revealing the complexity of galaxy evolution over the lifetime of the universe, CAB adds. Some galaxies look like elegant windmills, some look like tiny creatures at the beginning of life, others show interactions with their neighbors that deform or even destroy them, and some spread across the sky as if they were “Pacman”.
One of the images was obtained with the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) developed by the European consortium in which CAB participated (the other image was taken with the NIRcam instrument). “The MIRI images are impressive, eight times sharper than what we’ve had before,” says Perez Gonzalez.
According to the CAB researcher, “In every major astrophysical mission that is launched, the universe surprises us. We always think that we are already so close to the big bang that the galaxies must be very young and we should almost discover the first, but Webb shows very large galaxies that were already quite developed when the universe was only 5%. his current age.
“The universe has been super efficient at forming galaxies for almost its entire life. Not only that, but complex chemical elements and compounds that must influence the appearance of life,” he adds.
The collaboration of the American NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian CSA made James Webb possible.
Source: El Diario