Most distant known galaxy candidates have been discovered by “James Webb”

(ORDO NEWS) — Less than a week after “James Webb” began his observations, reports appeared on the preprint server about the discovery of galaxies located at record distances.

More surprisingly, these galaxies appear to be so massive that they challenge our understanding of how structure in the universe is formed.

Curiously, these distant galaxies, according to scientists, contain far more stars than is possible.

“From a theoretical standpoint, the observed masses are rather puzzling,” explains Charlotte Mason, associate professor at the Center for Cosmic Dawn (DAWN).

“We expected that we would have to explore a much, much larger volume of space before we found such large galaxies.

The average galaxy simply shouldn’t have had time to accumulate that much mass in the short time between the Big Bang and the time we see them.”

Mason is the co-author of one of the first two papers currently accepted for publication. This paper reports the discovery of several record-breaking distant galaxies.

Mason’s report appeared in the preprint at the same time as an article by MIT’s Rohan Naidoo, which analyzed the same field in the sky and found several of the same galaxies.

As detailed in a recent DAWN press release, the method used to determine distances is fast but somewhat unreliable. Spectroscopy must be used to confirm the distance.

Despite the absence of spectroscopy, the distances between the two galaxies, dubbed GLASS-z10 and GLASS-z12, seem fairly unambiguous. And the fact that two different teams, using two different analyzes of the same data, found the same distance is reassuring.

Although the large masses of galaxies are difficult to reconcile with our current understanding of structure formation, this does not mean that we will need to revise the Standard Model of the Universe.

“We know very little about the physical conditions of the early universe,” says Pascal Ash, Naidoo’s co-author and DAWN assistant professor.

“For most of the history of the universe, galaxies have been remarkably inefficient at forming stars. Perhaps some still unknown mechanism allowed early galaxies to form stars faster or form brighter stars.”

With the help of upcoming spectroscopy, as well as future observations covering large volumes of space, the true nature of these enigmatic galaxies will soon be revealed.


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