(ORDO NEWS) — The James Webb Orbital Observatory discovered six extraordinarily large galaxies in the early Universe at once, whose mass exceeds the solar mass by about 100 billion times.
Their discovery once again casts doubt on the ideas of cosmologists about the evolution of the first galaxies of the universe.
“These objects have an impossibly large mass. We expected that in this era of the existence of the Universe we would see only small and young galaxies.
We managed to discover six objects at once, which are not inferior in mass to the Milky Way and other modern galaxies, whose analogues should not have existed in this era,” said PSU associate professor Joel Leha, quoted by the university’s press service.
According to the current ideas of cosmologists, the first galaxies appeared in the Universe approximately 300-400 million years after the Big Bang, when its matter had time to cool down to temperatures at which cold clouds of gas can form, inside which stars arise.
Scientists have been looking for and studying the properties of such galaxies for several decades in the hope of revealing their role in the chemical evolution of the universe.
Initially, astronomers assumed that the first galaxies were relatively small and grew slowly. Recent discoveries by Hubble and other powerful telescopes show that this is not really the case.
Large galaxies appeared already in the first billion years of the life of the Universe. The fact of their existence is still a big mystery to scientists.
The oldest galaxies in the universe
As Leha and his colleagues note, the search for and study of such galaxies is one of the main goals for the James Webb orbital observatory, launched into space in December 2021.
Scientists used these photographs to search for and study the most ancient galaxies in the universe, distant from us at a distance of 13.1 billion light years or more.
Due to such a distant distance, we see these objects in the form in which they existed in the first 500-750 million years after the Big Bang, when galaxies were supposedly small.
Much to the surprise of astronomers, they were able to detect six large galaxies at once in images from the James Webb, whose mass exceeded the solar mass by about 100 billion times.
This makes them comparable in size to the Milky Way, as well as the Andromeda and Whirlpool galaxies, relatively large spiral galaxies of the modern Universe.
According to astronomers, the existence of such galaxies in the early Universe cannot be explained within 99% of existing cosmological models.
This once again casts doubt on their validity and points to the need to develop new theories that describe the process of formation of “embryos” of galaxies and their development in the first 300-400 million years after the Big Bang, the researchers summed up.
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