(ORDO NEWS) — The James Webb Infrared Space Telescope has confirmed the discovery of four very distant galaxies it had previously discovered.
One of them existed when the universe was only 320 million years old, making it the farthest on record to date.
The discovery and determination of the properties of the oldest galaxies in the universe is extremely important for testing models that describe the conditions and processes that led to the formation of the first stars and galaxies.
Great hopes in this matter are pinned on “James Webb”, who in the first months of his work found a number of candidate galaxies with a redshift z of more than 10, which corresponds to the earliest known galaxies.
However, all these discoveries made by the photometric method need to be confirmed by spectroscopy, which has just begun.
A team of astronomers led by Emma Curtis-Lake of the University of Hertfordshire have reported spectroscopic confirmation using the James Webb NIRSpec instrument of four very distant galaxy candidates originally found by the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) photometric data from Hubble and James Webb.
The redshifts of the galaxies JADES-GS-z10-0, JADES-GS-z11-0 and JADES-GS-z12-0 are 10.38, 11.58 and 12.63, respectively, less than 450 million years after the Big Bang.
The redshift of JADES-GS-z13-0 is 13.2, which corresponds to a time mark of 320 million years after the Big Bang and makes it the most distant known galaxy whose discovery has been confirmed.
The previous similar record was z = 10.95 for the galaxy GN-z11.
All galaxies existed during the Reionization Epoch. They are young, poor in metals (elements heavier than helium), have stellar masses of the order of 107-108 solar masses and moderate star formation rates of several solar masses per year. JADES-GS-z11-0 and JADES-GS-z12-0 also show a moderate level of dustiness.
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