the space telescope James Webb (JWST) from NASA is back with big news. In this case it is confirmed that this marvel of technology has been able to find 4 galaxies when they were less than 350 million years old, considered the oldest ever observed. To give you an idea, the Milky Way is about 13,000 million years old.
“Seeing the spectrum revealed as we expected, confirming that these galaxies are at the true edge of our view, some farther than Hubble could see! This is a tremendously exciting achievement for the mission.”said astronomer and co-author Emma Curtis-Lake of the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.
The observations have been the result of a collaboration of scientists who led the development of two of the instruments aboard James Webb, the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Near Infrared Spectrograph (NIRSpec).
Investigation of the faintest and earliest galaxies was the main motivation behind the concepts of these instruments. In 2015, the instrument teams came together to propose the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES), an ambitious program that has been allocated just over a month of telescope time spread over two years, and is designed to provide a view of the early universe.
A new milestone that shows the full potential of James Webb
“It was crucial to show that these galaxies in fact inhabit the early universe. It is quite possible that the closest galaxies masquerade as very distant galaxies”said Emma Curtis-Lake.
This discovery confirms the ability of James Webb to perform one of its most important tasks: study the early universe through light that has been traveling for so long that the expansion of the universe has stretched its wavelength.
“For the first time, we have discovered galaxies only 350 million years after the Big Bang, and we can be absolutely sure of their fantastic distances.”co-author and NIRCam science team member Brant Robertson said in the statement. “Finding these first galaxies in such stunningly beautiful images is a special experience,” Add.
So far, the James Webb Observatory of the POT $10 billion has identified several candidate galaxies, but these observations need to be confirmed using spectroscopy.