Rotation speed of a distant galaxy was unexpectedly low

(ORDO NEWS) — MACS1149-JD1 (hereinafter referred to as JD1) is one of the most distant known galaxies, located at a distance of about 13.28 billion light-years from Earth.

It turns out that when the Universe was a little over 500 million years old, JD1 was already a fairly stable structure with a diameter of about 3,000 light years, filled with gas, dust and stars. This makes JD1 one of the youngest known galaxies in the observable universe.

Yes, yes, it is young, because when studying deep space, we look into the distant past, observing objects as they were at the moment of emission (reflection) of light. Therefore, for us, earthly observers, the object appears young, being at the beginning of its evolutionary path.

Exploration of the early universe

Using the ALMA radio telescope complex, located in Chile’s Atacama Desert, a team of astronomers from Waseda University in Tokyo was able to measure the rotation rate of JD1 , which turned out to be much lower than that of modern galaxies.

Technical detail: JD1 is very far away and looks too faint to see directly. Fortunately, its light passes through a giant cluster of galaxies, and the effect of gravitational lensing increases JD1 noticeably, making the young galaxy an accessible target for study.

Rotation speed of a distant galaxy was unexpectedly low 2
Gravitational lensing effect

So, our Galaxy rotates at a speed of more than 200 kilometers per second, and the rotation speed of JD1 is approximately 50 kilometers per second.

It’s worth noting that later era galaxies, including the Milky Way , rotate at roughly the same speed, no matter how big, according to the Large Study .

“It is likely that JD1 is in its early stages of development of rotational motion,” says Akio Inoue, an astrophysicist at Waseda University and co-author of the study.

Evolving Universe

Let’s not forget about another study , the authors of which admit that over time the Universe changes the laws of physics.

That is, our current understanding of nature may not be applicable to a universe that is, say, 500-600 million years old.

Probably, in the distant past, the gravitational attraction between objects was weaker than today, and this caused the appearance of huge but thin stars, which, after their self-destruction, gave rise to the first “weighted” elements.

Perhaps the JD1 galaxy was extremely advanced for its era, and its size and rotation rate were the absolute norm for the early Universe.

One way or another, we have yet another proof in favor of the fact that the Universe was not always the way we know it today.

That is, the cosmos evolves, changes, becomes more complex and organized … like an adult who has passed the phases of childhood and youth.

What then will be the “old age” of the Universe? Cold and empty? And what was its beginning?

Let’s hope NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope provides at least a tiny fraction of the answers.


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