The James Webb Space Telescope continues to surprise us.
One of the main advantages of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is its ability to delve into the past. Looking at the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, it is able to see light that took billions of years to reach us, stretched by the action of Expanding the universe along its journey.
JWST’s specialized eyes on the universe recently revealed another surprise – multiple galaxies that look like our own Milky Waybut from 8 to 11 billion years in the past when the universe was much younger.
New research described in a Statement from UT Austin (Opens in a new tab) Displays notes from JWST Scientific Survey of Early Publication of Cosmic Evolution (Opens in a new tab) Barred galaxies, straight lines of stars running from the centers of galaxies to their outer disks, appear at this time in the young universe. According to the statement, this discovery may “require scientists to improve their theories about the evolution of galaxies.”
“I took one look at this data, and I said, ‘We’re dropping everything else!'” Sharda Jogi, an astronomer at the University of Austin, said in the release. ‘.
This is the first time that stellar bars have been observed in such young galaxies, challenging current models of how galaxies form and grow. They may also help astronomers answer questions about galaxies, such as how massive they are black holes At the centers of galaxies grow and how galaxies get enough material to form stars in their centers, known as the supply chain problem.
“For this study, we are looking at a new system in which no one has used this type of data or conducted this type of quantitative analysis before,” added lead author Yuxin Guo. “So everything is new. It’s like going into a forest no one has been in before.”
Jogee added that these stellar bars could “solve the galactic supply chain problem.”
“Just as we need to bring raw materials from the port to the inland factories that make new products, a rod vigorously transports the gas to the central region where the gas is rapidly converted into new stars at a rate typically 10 to 100 times faster than in the rest of the galaxy,” Jogee explained.
The discovery is further evidence of the extraordinary capabilities of NASA’s new space telescope, and a step toward understanding how galaxies like our own Milky Way came to be.
Research published in Astrophysical Journal Letters (Opens in a new tab).
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