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James Webb Space Telescope Has Discovered The Oldest Galaxies Ever!

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James Webb Space Telescope Has Discovered The Oldest Galaxies Ever!

The world’s largest and most powerful telescope, James Webb Space Telescope, has discovered something that has thrilled everyone. 

James Webb Space telescope data was utilized by scientists to discover the oldest galaxies known.

James Webb Space Telescope Has Discovered The Oldest Galaxies Ever

The spectroscopic observations say that the light from the discovered four galaxies has taken over 13.4 billion years to reach the Earth’s atmosphere, indicating that these galaxies date back to less than 400 million years after the universe was created by the Big Bang. These galaxies were generated when the universe was 2% of its present age, making them as old as the cosmos.

James Webb Space Telescope Has Discovered The Oldest Galaxies Ever!

James Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) acquired photos of the four galaxies. 

The JADES team observed a small piece of sky in nine infrared wavelength bands for ten days. 

In researchers’ words, a pinprick of the sky was equivalent to looking at a mobile phone screen across a football field when the image displayed nearly 100,000 galaxies, each billion light years away. 

Scientists confirmed that these ancient galaxies discovered in the early months of the operation are the oldest after they looked at them in detail with the Near Infrared Spectrograph, displaying their chemical composition and determining how fast they are moving away from the Webb. Astronomers had obtained precise estimates of the so-called redshift from NIRSpec’s data to determine the speed of galaxies’ movement.

Redshift helps scientists by showing the objects redder as they move farther away from us. This phenomenon happens as the light emitted by distant stars and galaxies stretches into longer and redder wavelengths of the light spectrum as a result of the expansion of the universe. 

The most distant Webb-detected galaxy displayed a redshift of 13.2, equivalent to 13.5 billion years. 

In 2015, scientists joined two instruments- NIRCam and NIRSpec together to propose the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) to investigate the deepest and faintest corners of the universe. 

The Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Near-Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec) were developed by the international collaboration of scientists to study the early universe in ways that were impossible before. 

Co-author Marcia Rieke, NIRCam principal investigator, of the University of Arizona in Tucson, reasoned that NIRCam and NIRSpec teams were combined to execute the observing program and culminate such results. 

Over 80 astronomers from 10 nations collaborated on this successful effort over two years and a month of telescope time. This partnership aims to provide a deep and detailed view of the early cosmos, and this milestone proves it.

Brant Robertson, an astrophysicist at the University of California Santa Cruz and one of the researchers involved in the observations, said in a statement that the discovered galaxies are well beyond what they could have imagined finding before JWST. 

He continued to praise the appreciable JWST that for the first time, because of JWST, they can now find such distant galaxies and then confirm spectroscopically that they are that far away.

With these observations and data, he claimed, galaxies’ inherent brightness and star counts may be determined. Now scientists can start to pick apart how galaxies are put together over time. 

This study was centered on the iconic Hubble Deep Field. In 2023, JADES will work on a detailed study of another field. 

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