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The Webb telescope shows what may be one of the most distant galaxies ever observed

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Two new images from the James Webb Space Telescope show galaxies of multiple shapes and sizes, nearby, more distant and what may be one of the most distant galaxies ever observed.

Both images include objects older than 13 billion years and offer a much wider field of vision that the first deep field image of the Webb, which was made public on July 12, reports the Spanish Center for Astrobiology (CAB) in a statement.

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These are some of the first images obtained within the CEERS project (acronym for the English Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science Survey, survey with the first scientific results on cosmic evolution).

This great collaboration, using the new space telescope, studies how some of the first galaxies formed when the universe was less than 5% of its current age, during a period known as reionization.

Made up of eighteen researchers from twelve institutions, including Pablo G. Pérez González, from the CAB (centre of the CSIC and the National Institute of Aerospace Technology), CEERS also has more than a hundred collaborators from ten other countries.

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In the first week of data analysis, the team identified a particularly interesting object: a galaxy they named Maisiein honor of the daughter of the project’s director, Steven Finkelstein.

It is estimated that this galaxy existed only 300 million years after the Big Bang. The data, which It took about 24 hours to compile. they are from an area of ​​sky near the tail of the Big Dipper.

This same area of ​​the sky was previously observed by the Hubble Space Telescope, in what is known as the Extended Groth Fringe. “It’s amazing to see how what was for Hubble a pinpoint of light now for Webb becomes a complete galaxy with beautiful structures. Not only that, other galaxies emerge from nowhere!” says Finkelstein, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Texas (Austin, USA) and principal investigator of CEERS.

The extremely sharp images from the CEERS project have not only been used to discover distant galaxies, they also show numerous interesting and beautiful objectsrevealing the complexity of the evolution of galaxies throughout the life of the universe, adds the CAB.

Some galaxies look like elegant windmills, others are like little beings at the beginning of their lives, others show interactions with their neighbors that deform or even destroy them, and others are distributed in the sky as if it were a “pacman”. One of the images was obtained with the mid-infrared instrument (MIRI), developed by a European consortium in which the CAB participated (the other image was captured with the NIRcam instrument).

“MIRI’s images are impressive, eight times sharper than what we had until now,” says Pérez González. According to the CAB researcher, “in each great astrophysical mission that begins, the universe surprises us. We always think that we are already getting so close to the Big Bang that the galaxies must be very young and we should almost detect the first one, but the Webb it’s revealing very large galaxies already quite evolved when the universe was only 5% of its current age.”

“The universe has been almost all its life superefficient forming galaxies. Not only that, also elements and complex chemical compounds, which must have an effect on the appearance of life”, he adds. The collaboration of the American NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian CSA has made the James Webb possible.

Source: Lasexta

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