James Webb telescope has discovered galaxies similar to the Milky Way in the young Universe

(ORDO NEWS) — New images from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) show for the first time barred galaxies that formed when the universe was only 25% of its current age.

The discovery of these galaxies, similar to our own Milky Way, at such an early stage in the development of the universe will require astrophysicists to refine theories of galaxy evolution.

The first such galaxy, EGS-23205, was first discovered in a Hubble image, but it looks like a smudge there.

The corresponding JWST image taken last summer shows that EGS-23205 is a beautiful spiral galaxy with a distinct star streak.

The team has identified another barred galaxy, EGS-24268. She, like EGS-23205, is about 11 billion years old.

In a paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the scientists highlight these two galaxies and show examples of four other galaxies that are about 8 billion years old.

Barriers play an important role in the evolution of galaxies by directing gas to the central regions and accelerating star formation.

“Barriers solve the supply chain problem in galaxies,” the researchers explain. “Just as we need to transport raw materials from the harbor to inland factories that produce new products, the bridge transports gas powerfully into the central region, where it quickly turns into new stars at a speed typically 10 to 100 times faster than the rest of the galaxy.”

The JWST can reveal structures in distant galaxies better than Hubble for two reasons: First, its larger mirror gives it more light-gathering power, allowing it to see farther and with higher resolution. Second, it can see through dust better because it observes at longer infrared wavelengths than Hubble.


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