Check out one of the first galaxies ever seen.
This is why I love space exploration so much. Literally. Scientists have found one of the first galaxies ever seen.
The quest to unlock the universe’s early days has witnessed another milestone. Thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope, Maisie’s galaxy is confirmed to be among the universe’s first, revealing surprises and challenges for astronomers.
A Glimpse into the Past; One of the First Galaxies Ever Seen
390 million years post-Big Bang, Maisie’s galaxy comes into view, courtesy of the James Webb Space Telescope. Although it’s not as ancient as initially believed, it undoubtedly belongs to the prestigious list of the four earliest confirmed galaxies.
“It’s thrilling to note that among the distant galaxies JWST identified, Maisie’s galaxy was the first to undergo spectroscopic confirmation,” stated Steven Finkelstein, an astronomy professor at UT Austin. His personal touch? Naming the galaxy “Maisie” to mark his daughter’s birthday.
The Teams Behind the Findings
Pablo Arrabal Haro took the lead in the recent analysis, with several co-authors, including Finkelstein, playing a pivotal role. The team’s eyes are now set on about 10 galaxies, which might offer glimpses even earlier than Maisie’s.
Without a straightforward timestamp, astronomers resort to measuring redshifts, indicating the motion of celestial objects away from us due to the expanding universe. An object’s redshift tells us about its age. Based on the latest findings, Maisie’s galaxy holds a redshift of z=11.4.
A Curious Case of CEERS-93316
Another galaxy, CEERS-93316, grabbed attention with its supposed age of just 250 million years post-Big Bang. However, subsequent analysis painted a different story. It’s approximately 1 billion years older, with its blue hue misleading the initial estimates. “It was an unexpected scenario,” Finkelstein explained. The galaxy’s brightness baffled experts, given its early formation in the universe.
This breakthrough research received backing from prominent institutions like NASA, the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, and the Leverhulme Trust, among others.
The revelations about Maisie’s galaxy and others are reshaping our understanding of the universe’s infancy. As the James Webb Space Telescope continues its celestial observations, one can only anticipate more astonishing discoveries.
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