Astronomers have discovered a metal-rich galaxy in the early universe

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(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of astronomers, while analyzing images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), discovered an ancient galaxy that was surprisingly rich in metals.

The discovery was made while reviewing some of the first images taken by the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope. Scientists have discovered a luminous spot in the images, which turned out to be a galaxy of the early Universe.

It is a companion galaxy called SPT0418-47, one of the brightest dusty galaxies known to science. Astronomers have discovered that the newly discovered galaxy is teeming with chemicals that none of the team members, they admit, expected.

Scientists conducted a chemical analysis of the light spectrum, determining the composition of the galaxy by the so-called redshift. Observations indicated strong emission lines of hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur atoms.

The scientists then analyzed the data obtained earlier with the ground-based ALMA telescope. Preliminary calculations were not only confirmed, but also proved that the new galaxy is rich in various metals.

The authors of the discovery named the new object SPT0418-SE. It is located about five kiloparsecs from its companion. This proximity suggests that the galaxies must be interacting with each other.

Scientists do not even rule out that these galaxies are in the process of merging. By the way, both companions have rather modest masses compared to other known galaxies of the early Universe.

The increased metallicity surprised scientists. They suggest that this fact is a consequence of the existence of at least a couple of generations of stars.

To accumulate such an amount of metals, it takes from eight to 12 billion years.

Scientists suggest that the process of accumulation of metals in this galaxy began with stars that formed and died during the first billion years of the existence of the Universe.

“We assume that the process of star formation in these galaxies must have been very efficient and started very early in the universe,” said Amit Vishwas, a research fellow at the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences. nitrogen in relation to oxygen, since this ratio is a reliable measure of how many generations of stars have existed and died.”


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