New observations from the James Webb space telescope could give us a glimpse at the earliest galaxies we have ever discovered. A newly published study led by Haojing Yan from the University of Missouri showcases 87 new galaxies, some of which astronomers believe could date back to around 13. 6 billion years ago.
These new galaxies, which existed 200 millions years after the Big Bang, would have been among the oldest galaxies ever found. They say that’s when the light we’re seeting today would have been emitted. Of course, these same systems and stars would have changed drastically since then. They might even be dead.
This is not the first time scientists studied the early universe as well as galaxies far away. But, these discoveries could very well break the records for those previous studies by a few hundred million years – which is no small feat. These are not yet considered to be candidates as their dates must still be confirmed.
That’s because dating a galaxy is tough work, as it means having to measure the “redshift” of the galaxy. Redshift refers to how far the galaxy’s light has shifted toward redder wavelengths. Astronomers use this to determine how fast the galaxy is moving away. It also helps them measure how far the photons had to travel before reaching Earth.
This is a complicated process as you have to calculate the distance photons travel at light speed before they reach a telescope close to our planet. In this case James Webb . To determine whether these galaxies are among the oldest we have discovered, researchers will have to calculate the redshift.
And, if they do prove to be some of those early galaxies, it could help astronomers learn more about how our universe evolved.
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