This galaxy is very small, but has a mass equivalent to 1 billion solar masses.< /p>
It's only been a little over a week since the Webb Space Telescope began operations, and scientists have already announced a historic discovery. The new observatory has discovered the oldest galaxy in the universe, which is 13.5 billion years old, that is, it was formed 300 million years after the Big Bang. This galaxy is 100 million years older than the previous record holder, according to the Daily Mail.
An international team of scientists says the Webb Space Telescope has been able to look further into our universe's past than any telescope has ever done. .
The oldest galaxy in the universe
According to the announcement and as yet unpeered scientific paper, Webb using the near-infrared camera (NIRcam) discovered the oldest galaxy in the universe, which was named GLASS-z13 or GN-z13.
According to scientists, although this galaxy definitely existed already 300 million years after the birth of the universe, it could have appeared at any time in these millions of years. Subsequent additional analysis of the data will make it possible to clarify its age.
The new galaxy, the oldest known to science today, is very small, its diameter is 1600 light years. To understand how small this galaxy is, recall that the diameter of our galaxy is 100 thousand light years. But the mass of the galaxy GLASS-z13 is 1 billion solar masses.
Previous oldest galaxy
The previous record holder, a galaxy called GLASS-z11 or GN-z11, was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2015. It is 13.4 billion years old, its diameter is slightly larger than that of the new galaxy – 2300 light years. But her mass is the same as that of the GN-z13. And what is most interesting, both of these galaxies are located in the same region of space.
“The Webb Space Telescope is capable of many things, and most importantly, it can look into the very distant corners of the universe to discover the very first stars and galaxies. Although the new discovery still requires additional expert evaluation, it can be safely stated that it is very easy for Webb to detect such distant space objects and this is encouraging,” says Gabriel Brammer from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Small but very heavy galaxies and this is very unusual
Scientists believe that despite the small galactic In terms of size, the huge mass of the galaxy GN-z13 can be explained by the fact that in the early Universe it and its neighbor GN-z11 actively grew and consumed stars in the region of space where they were discovered.
“This is a very surprising discovery. So far, this is only one of the possible explanations for such a large mass of the galaxy “We still need to do more research to get to the bottom of it. Because it is not entirely clear how this galaxy gained such mass so quickly after the Big Bang,” says Rohan Naidu from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA.
< h2>New discovery awaiting confirmation
Scientists have a lot of evidence that GLASS-z13 is the oldest known galaxy in the universe, Naidoo said, but work is still ongoing to confirm this status. Both of these are the oldest galaxies in the universe, scientists say, could provide new information about the evolution of galaxies in the first hundreds of millions of years after the Big Bang. For now, the new discovery is awaiting discussion by the scientific community, which should confirm that the GN-z13 galaxy is what it is believed to be.
“Now many astronomical discoveries are not being confirmed. This discovery seems very promising to me, but we need to wait for the scientific review of this study,” says Thomas Zurbuchen, assistant administrator of NASA.< /p>
As Focus already wrote, the new target of the Webb Space Telescope will be a black hole that has escaped from its galaxy. The data from the telescope will be able to shed light on what exactly happened in the galaxy that appeared as a result of the merger of two or three galaxies.
We remind you that six months after arriving at a destination one and a half million kilometers from Earth, July 12 the Webb telescope began its work and for the first time NASA showed what it is capable of.