Astronomers say they have found the most distant galaxy ever observed

(ORDO NEWS) — This is a record that has been broken several times in the last two years alone and we expect it to be broken again soon.

Astronomers using the recently commissioned James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have announced the discovery of the most distant galaxy yet.

If this sounds familiar, it has already happened twice this year. In April, astronomers announced their observation of the galaxy just 330 million years after the Big Bang. Another one was found in other JWST data last month, 300 million years after the Big Bang.

However, the new record holder is stunning. Discovered in the darkness of the early universe, it represents a time just 235 million years after the Big Bang… practically a cosmic instant in the context of the age of the universe at 13.8 billion years.

The discovery of the candidate galaxy, named CEERS-93316, marks the beginning of something miraculous: Webb is poised to take the early Universe wide open, giving us an unprecedented look at the dark and mysterious expanses at the beginning of, well, everything.

A paper by astrophysicist Callum Donnan of the University of Edinburgh has been submitted to the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , awaiting peer review, and is available on the arXiv preprint server.

The first billion years after the Big Bang is of great interest to cosmologists. During this time, the hot quantum soup that filled the universe after it came into being somehow began to form everything: matter, antimatter and dark matter, stars, galaxies and dust.

Because light needs time to travel. , any light reaching us from deep space is an event buried deep in the past; so, essentially, light is a time machine for the far reaches of the universe. But the early universe – really early – is more complex: it’s so far away that any light that reaches us is very, very faint.

Moreover, the expansion of the Universe has turned even the most energetic waves into dim rays closer to the infrared parts of the spectrum, which makes even the most visible objects difficult to distinguish.

This makes detailed reconstructions of that time very difficult. Which is all the more shameful, since this is such a critical time.

The era before the birth of the first stars was called the Cosmic Dawn. Beginning almost 250 million years after the Big Bang, it filled the entire universe with an opaque cloud of hydrogen atoms.

Only when the ultraviolet light of the first stars and galaxies re-ionized neutrally charged hydrogen could the entire electromagnetic spectrum propagate.

Thanks to this epoch of reionization, about a billion years after the Big Bang, light was once again able to shine unhindered.

Naturally, we want to know more about the youth of the universe during this foggy period; how the first stars formed in morning clouds, how galaxies coalesced, how supermassive black holes could form so quickly in the first hundreds of millions of years of existence.

Taking a look back at that distant foggy time is one of the main tasks for which Webb was created.

Webb can capture near-infrared and infrared light at the highest resolution of any telescope ever sent into space.

It is designed to excel in detecting these very high redshift galaxies so that cosmologists can finally get a detailed idea of ​​what is happening, if not during the Cosmic Dawn, then at least during the reionization.

CEERS-93316, according to data. Donnan and his colleagues must be at least fairly close to one of the very first post-Big Bang galaxies.

The team ruled out other possible explanations for the dim red glow, and their analysis suggests that star formation in the candidate galaxy must have begun sometime between 120 and 220 million years after the Big Bang.

In order. however, further spectroscopic observations will be needed to confirm the object’s identity. We hope this will confirm the redshift; from there, the object can become the subject of further, more detailed study and help to compile a census of objects in the early Universe.

If CEERS-93316 is a galaxy, it probably won’t carry the most distant galaxy forever fold long. Even if CEERS-93316 doesn’t turn out to be such a distant galaxy, chances are good that we won’t have to wait long for Webb to detect such an object.

Bring us those dull, red, distant treasures, Webb. We cannot wait.

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