Webb may have spotted the most distant galaxy ever observed

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Webb would have spotted the most distant galaxy ever observed

A view of the GLASS-z13 galaxy

Just a week after the revelation of the first images of the James Webb Space Telescope, the most powerful ever designed, it could already have found the most distant galaxy ever observed, which existed 13.5 billion years ago.

Named GLASS-z13, the galaxy appears to us as it was only about 300 million years after the big bang, or 100 million years younger than the previous record observed, the agency said. #x27;AFP Rohan Naidu, of the Harvard Center for Astrophysics.

He is the lead author of a study analyzing data from early observations by James Webb, currently in progress. These data are posted online for all astronomers on the planet.

One of the main missions of this brand new telescope is to observe the first galaxies formed after the big bang, which occurred 13.8 billion years ago.

In astronomy, seeing far means going back in time. Sunlight, for example, takes eight minutes to reach us, so we see it as it was eight minutes ago. By looking as far away as possible, we can therefore perceive objects as they were billions of years ago.

The light from this galaxy was emitted 13.5 billion years ago.

The James Webb Telescope may have already found the most distant galaxy ever observed! What could we learn about the origins of the world? We talked about it with René Doyon, astrophysicist at the University of Montreal and director of the Lac-Mégantic Observatory.

This study has not yet been verified by peer review, but published as a preprint so that it is readily available to the expert community. It has been submitted to a scientific journal for forthcoming publication, said Rohan Naidu.

But already, many astronomers were enthusiastically commenting on this discovery on social networks.

Records in astronomy are already shaking, tweeted Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator responsible for science. Yes, I tend to only applaud peer-reviewed scientific results. But this is very promising!, he added about the study.

Another research team also concluded the same results, according to Rohan Naidu, which gives him confidence.

The galaxy was observed by James Webb's NiRcam instrument, and detected on what is called a deep field, i.e. a wider image taken with a long exposure time. x27;exposure in order to detect the weakest gleams.

James Webb's particularity is to work only in the infrared. The light emitted by older objects has stretched and reddened along the way, passing into that wavelength which is not visible to the human eye.

< p class="e-p">To draw an image of this galaxy, the data was therefore translated into the visible spectrum: it then appears as a rather fuzzy red circular shape and white in its center.

En In reality, the twenty or so researchers who participated in the study studied two galaxies, the other being called GLASS-z11, which is less distant.

They have surprising characteristics, for the little we already know: They appear quite massive, according to Rohan Naidu, and this, very soon after the big bang. It's something we don't really understand, he added.

When exactly did they form? Impossible to say for now.

There is still work to be done, said the researcher. He and his colleagues requested more observing time with the telescope to perform spectroscopic analyzes – a technique for determining the properties of a distant object through the analysis of light collected. This should confirm their distance.

The James Webb Telescope was launched into space about six months ago. Worth $10 billion, it was placed 1.5 million miles from us.

It has enough fuel to run for 20 years. Astronomers thus expect to be inundated with new cosmic discoveries for a long time to come.

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