The Webb Telescope has discovered two of the oldest and most distant galaxies ever seen
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Scientists believe that two galaxies formed a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
NASA said that the Webb Space Telescope has discovered the two earliest galaxies in the universe, previously hidden from astronomers. One of them appeared just 350 million years after the birth of the cosmos, writes The Guardian.
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Scientists believe, based on new data they received from the Webb telescope, that the first galaxies in the universe could appear as early as 200 million after the Big Bang. And this is much earlier than astronomers thought. So far, scientists do not have such galaxies, but they have confirmation of the fact that the Webb telescope discovered the two earliest galaxies that were hidden from the eyes of scientists.
These are two extraordinarily bright galaxies that already existed 350 and 450 million years after the Big Bang. Unlike our own Milky Way, these first galaxies are small and compact, and more spherical or disk-shaped rather than the spiral shape of our galaxy.
According to NASA, the most distant and therefore the oldest on Today, a galaxy that is 350 million light-years away from us has been named GLASS-z12. Prior to this, the GN-z11 galaxy was officially considered the oldest galaxy, which existed already 400 million years after the birth of the Universe and was discovered 6 years ago by the Hubble space telescope.
So far, GLASS-z12 is the oldest and most distant galaxy in astronomers' primary data only. Scientists believe that the Webb telescope should make a few more observations so that the discovered object can finally be assigned the status of record holder in terms of range and age.
At the same time, according to a NASA statement, some scientists believe they have found evidence of even earlier and more distant galaxies in the Webb data. But all these objects are still in the status of candidates for champions. On the other hand, these galaxies may not be that far away, and new detailed observations of the cosmos are needed to find out.
In the past few months since the first scientific observations by the Webb telescope, all the evidence for the earliest discovered galaxies is being carefully tested, but it takes time.
According to Tommaso Treu from the University of California at Los Angeles, USA, the evidence that the GLASS-z12 galaxy existed already 350 million years after the Big Bang is the strongest today.
According to Jane Rigby from NASA, these two very old galaxies were hiding from telescopes, but Webb, thanks to his instruments, was able to find them.
“Perhaps he has already discovered or will find older galaxies. We still need to study all the data, but I can say that we still do not know exactly when and how the very first stars and galaxies appeared in the Universe. We only have assumptions, but the Webb telescope will most likely provide an answer to these questions,” says Rigby.
Focus has already written about the scientists' statement, which was that the Webb telescope has discovered a galaxy that will appear 300 million years after the birth of the cosmos.
Later, Focus wrote that scientists questioned the evidence that the Webb telescope had discovered the earliest galaxies in the universe.