Awani Review

Complete News World

The first galaxies may have formed earlier than we thought

The first galaxies may have formed earlier than we thought

The first galaxies may have formed earlier than astronomers previously thought, according to early observations from the new James Webb Space Telescope, which in just a few months has shaken up scientific understanding of the universe.

“Somehow, the universe managed to form galaxies faster and earlier than we thought,” said Tommaso Treu, a professor of astronomy at UCLA.

One of the main tasks of the James Webb Telescope, which is in its fifth month of observations, is to study the first galaxies that formed after the Big Bang, which occurred 13.8 billion years ago.

France Press agency

Based on elaborate cosmological models, scientists thought finding them “would take time,” said astrophysicist Cihan Kartaltepe.

However, in just a few months, James Webb has already identified several new, young galaxies, including one that existed only 350 million years after the Big Bang – 50 million years less than the previous record.

Jeyhan Kartaltepe commented: “It’s a surprise that there are so many who formed so early.”

France Press agency

In addition to their number, scientists were struck by one thing: their great luminosity.

“We immediately come to the conclusion that they are massive, and that raises a real mystery: how did they manage to form so many stars in such a short time?” summed up Garth Illingworth, of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

To be able to do this, “these galaxies must have started to form perhaps only 100 million years after the Big Bang,” he explained. “Nobody would have believed that the Dark Ages would end so soon.”

An alternative hypothesis might be that these galaxies actually harbor so-called 3 stars, which are very different from the ones we know. These first stars, unusually bright, were so far only theoretical, not observed.

The amazing capabilities of the James Webb Telescope have also revealed the appearance of some of these galaxies.

“Our team was shocked to be able to measure what these early galaxies looked like,” Erika Nelson of the University of Colorado said in a statement to NASA. Their quiet, orderly disks challenge our understanding of how the first galaxies formed in a chaotic, chaotic universe. »

France Press agency

The exact distance of these young galaxies – including the record-breaking ones – should be confirmed in the future thanks to spectral analyses, also done with James Webb.

But anyway, thanks to this new observatory, “we’re really on track to fulfill this dream of understanding the galaxies of the earliest times,” exclaims Garth Illingworth.