Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Webb telescope discovers oldest galaxies ever observed

Nature Astronomy:

Here we identify four galaxies located in the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey Near-Infrared Camera imaging with photometric redshifts z of roughly 10–13. These galaxies include the first redshift z > 12 systems discovered with distances spectroscopically confirmed by JWST in a companion paper.

Taken together, these measurements show that the first galaxies contributing to cosmic reionization formed rapidly and with intense internal radiation fields.


The James Webb Space Telescope has discovered the four most distant galaxies ever observed, one of which formed just 320 million years after the Big Bang when the universe was still in its infancy, new research said on Tuesday.

Stephane Charlot, a researcher at the Astrophysics Institute of Paris and co-author of the two new studies, told AFP that the farthest galaxy—called JADES-GS-z13-0—formed 320 million years after the Big Bang. That is the greatest distance ever observed by astronomers, he said.

However in February, the discovery of six massive galaxies from 500-700 million years after the Big Bang led some astronomers to question the standard model.

Those galaxies, also observed by the Webb telescope, were bigger than thought possible so soon after the birth of the universe—if confirmed, the standard model could need updating. 

This analysis does not include even earlier candidates that JWST has discovered that are yet to be confirmed. 

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