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Discovery of the James Webb Space Telescope

Discovery of the James Webb Space Telescope

Credits: NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI.

Thanks to the very high resolution of images created by the space telescope James Webb From NASA, I identified a study Gz9p3A very distant and massive galaxy that appears to be the result of the merger of suns with smaller galaxies 510 million years Big Bang: This is it The oldest galactic merger ever observed. We've long known that the massive galaxies we observe are formed by the merger of smaller galaxies, but Gz9p3 is much larger than expected about half a billion years after the Big Bang. This discovery therefore indicates that large galaxies formed much earlier than expected.

The study was conducted as part of a research programme glass (Grissom survey of lens magnification from space), an observation campaign carried out by the James Webb Space Telescope to study the distant universe. When the composition and analysis of the lumière proven bright objects, the program is capable of optimizing the details next to you on the basic concepts of the Universities, as a result of which we will complete the development of the Universities for training. until today.

The study's authors are led by a British astronomer Kate Boyett From the University of Melbourne in Australia, by analyzing high-resolution images from the James Webb Space Telescope, they have identified an extremely distant galaxy, ten times larger than other galaxies observed so far, and dating back to a time as ancient as the universe. . . This galaxy, identified as Gz9p3, is located at a distance that puts it only 510 million years after the Big Bang. It appears to be made up of several “pieces”. One such piece, in particular, appears to consist of two separately identifiable elements: two “clusters” of very young stars (less than 10 million years old), surrounded by a halo of older stars (about 120 million years old). . . ) and the “tail” of matter that appears to arise from gravitational interactions.

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This formation, which had not previously been observed on images from other telescopes with lower resolution, corresponds to the formation of this galaxy by the merger of two smaller galaxies, attracted to each other by mutual gravitational attraction. The oldest stars originated in the diffuse halo of their component galaxies, while younger stars formed more recently from the interaction of interstellar gas during mergers. The fusion between the different “pieces” of the galaxy does not appear to be complete yet (which is why the elements can still be identified separately), but the observations seem to indicate an advanced case of gravitational interaction between the different components.

The formation of more massive galaxies by the merger of smaller galaxies is a well-known fact in the evolution of the structures of the universe, an idea known as… “Hierarchical Model” For the evolution of galaxies. According to this model, smaller galaxies began to form in very ancient times, then slowly merged over billions of years to form increasingly large and massive galaxies.

However, observations made by the James Webb Space Telescope reveal Larger galaxies Than one would expect From computer simulations of cosmic evolution, which took shape at earlier times than expected. Several recent studies confirm this fact, encouraging astronomers to continue their observations by searching for ever more distant galaxies. This study is part of that research, and seems to show how to do that Very massive galaxies formed as a result of the merger of smaller galaxies much earlier than previously thoughtIt shows how our models of galaxy evolution need to be improved, and how the “young” universe, a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, already appears more “mature” in terms of the formation of large-scale structures.

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Boyett, K., Trenti, M., Leethochawalit, N. et al. “A massive interacting galaxy 510 million years after the Big Bang.” Nat Astron (2024) Boyett, K., Trenti, M., Leethochawalit, N. et al. “A massive interacting galaxy 510 million years after the Big Bang.” (preliminary edition)

T. Trieu et al. “GLASS-JWST Early Scientific Release Program.” I. Survey design and distribution plans. » ApJ 935 110 (2022)

Dr. Kate Boyett (Professional Blog)