The James Webb Space Telescope is changing our understanding of the universe.
Galaxies in the early days of the universe were much more diverse and mature than previously thought, according to a new study by NASA of hundreds of galaxy observations. james webb space telescope (JWST).
The Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) survey is using JWST to look far back in time, studying galaxies as they were about 11 to 13 billion years ago.
Connected: The best images ever taken of the James Webb Space Telescope (gallery)
The images of faint, highly redshifted galaxies returned by the JWST are much sharper than similar photographs taken by it. Hubble Space Telescope, These new images revealed the presence of mature features such as disc and globular components, said Jehan Kartaltepe, associate professor in Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Physics and Astronomy. Statement (opens in new tab),
“This means that, even at these high redshifts, the galaxies were already quite evolved and had a wide range of structures,” said Kartaltepe, lead author of the new paper and co-investigator of CEERS.
So these early galaxies were more like present-day galaxies than they were before known galaxies.
“This tells us that we do not yet know when the earliest galaxy formations formed,” Kartaltepe said. “We’re not seeing the first galaxies with disks yet. We really have to investigate a lot more galaxies to determine at what time the disk-like features were able to form.”
The results of the study, which used the initial JWST data set from June last year, have been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and posted on the online preprint site. arXiv (opens in new tab),
Since then, the CEERS survey has added a further 60 observing hours with the JWST, which means there may be many thousands of high redshift galaxies to discover and advance our understanding of how the early universe evolved.
follow us @ on twitterspacedotcom (opens in new tab) and on Facebook (opens in new tab),