• Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

NASA’s James Webb maps the birth of the universe by clicking thousands of galaxies in a single frame

NASA’s James Webb maps the birth of the universe by clicking thousands of galaxies in a single frame

The JADES program will spend about 32 days of telescope time

One of the incredible images was released by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The image shows more than 45,000 galaxies in a region of the sky called the GOODS-South. The image was captured as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey program.

According to the space agency, the JADES program will spend about 32 days of telescope time detecting and characterizing faint and distant galaxies. While the data is still coming in, JADES has already found hundreds of galaxies that existed when the universe was less than 600 million years old. The team also identified galaxies glowing with young, hot stars.

“With JADES, we want to answer a lot of questions: How did the early galaxies self-assemble? How fast did they form stars? Why? Do some galaxies stop forming stars?”

Ryan Endsley of the University of Texas at Austin led the investigation into galaxies that existed 500 to 850 million years after the Big Bang. Billions of years after the Big Bang, the universe was filled with a gaseous fog that made it opaque to energetic light. A billion years after the Big Bang, the haze cleared and the universe became transparent, a process known as reionization. The space agency said scientists debated whether active, supermassive black holes or galaxies full of hot, young stars were the primary cause of recombination.

The team of researchers found evidence that these young galaxies underwent rapid star formation. These mergers and acquisitions may have occurred as galaxies captured clumps of the gaseous raw material needed to form stars. Alternatively, because massive stars explode quickly, they may have intermittently injected energy into the surrounding environment, preventing the gas from condensing to form new stars.

According to a press release of NASA, another component of the JADES program involves the search for early galaxies that existed when the universe was less than 400 million years old. By studying these galaxies, astronomers can explore how star formation in the early years after the Big Bang was different from what we see today.

Kevin Heinlein of the University of Arizona in Tucson and his colleagues used Web’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) instrument to measure so-called photometric redshifts and identified more than 700 candidate galaxies whose universe existed between 370 million and 650 million years ago. the old

“Before, the earliest galaxies we could see were like tiny smudges. Yet those smudges represent millions or billions of stars at the beginning of the universe,” Heinlein said. “Now, we can see that some of them are actually extended objects with visible structures. We can see clusters of stars being born only a few billion years after the beginning of time.”

“We found that star formation in the early universe was much more complex than we thought,” added Rieke.

The results are being reported at the 242nd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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