January 27, 2023

New image from NASA telescope captures thousands of unprecedented galaxies that formed 13.5 billion years ago - 200 million years after the Big Bang

Never-before-seen galaxies shine bright in a new image by James Webb

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has captured never-before-seen galaxies that look like dazzling diamonds in the blackness of space.

The image transports viewers back 13.5 billion years to the early universe with faint, distant lights radiating from newly formed galaxies in a region known as the sun’s north pole.

Only 2% of the sky captured in the image is covered by Earth’s full moon, but JWST can peer deeper into this region and observe thousands of twinkling galaxies stretching out to the far corners of the universe.

Cosmic objects appearing in the image are a billion times lighter than what can be seen with the naked eye, but the telescope’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) picked up spectra of light coming from the objects in the image.

New image from NASA telescope captures thousands of unprecedented galaxies that formed 13.5 billion years ago – 200 million years after the Big Bang

The image is one of the first wide-field, mid-depth images of the universe and is from the GTO Prime Extragalactic Reionization and Lensing Sciences (PEARLS) program.

The researchers involved in this work explain that the term “mean depth” refers to the faintest object visible in this image, which has a magnitude of about 29 (a billion times lighter than what can be seen with the naked eye).

The term “wide field” refers to the total area the program will cover, about one-twelfth the area of ​​a full moon.

“For more than two decades, I have worked with a large international team of scientists to set up our Web Science program,” said Roger Windhorst, Regent Professor at Arizona State University (ASU) and principal investigator for PEARLS, in a statement.

Webb’s photos are truly exceptional, truly beyond my wildest dreams. It allows me to measure the intensity of the number of galaxies that shine in the very faint infrared frontier and the total amount of light they produce.

The image includes eight different colors from NIRCam and three colors from ultraviolet and visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope.

“Web images far exceed what we expected from simulations I ran in the months leading up to the first scientific observations,” said Jake Summers, a research assistant at Arizona State University.

Looking at them, I was surprised at the impressive accuracy.

There are many things I didn’t think we’d actually be able to see, including individual globular clusters around distant elliptical galaxies, star-forming nodes within spiral galaxies, and thousands of faint background galaxies.

The NIRCam observations will be combined with spectra obtained with the Webb’s Near Infrared Imager and Slit-Free Spectrometer (NIRISS), allowing the team to search for faint objects with spectral emission lines, which can be used to estimate their distances more accurately.

“The diffuse light that I measured in front of and behind stars and galaxies has cosmological significance, symbolizing the history of the universe,” said Rosalia O’Brien, a graduate research assistant at Arizona State University.

I feel very fortunate to start my career now. Webb’s data is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and I’m really excited about the opportunities and challenges it presents.

The image quality is “really out of this world,” said Anton Koekemoer, an astronomer with STScI, who has combined the PEARLS images into a very large mosaic.

He continued, “To look at very rare galaxies at the dawn of cosmic time, we need deep imaging over a large area, which is what the PEARLS field provides.

The northern ecliptic pole is located in the constellation Draco, one of the largest constellations in the sky, which is located in the northern celestial hemisphere.

It is one of the ancient Greek constellations and was first cataloged by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century.

JWST has taken other images of spiral galaxies, with an image revealing the chaotic Cartwheel galaxy 489.2 million light-years from Earth.

The image also shows individual globular clusters around distant elliptical galaxies and star-forming nodes within spiral galaxies (pictured)

The image also shows individual globular clusters around distant elliptical galaxies and star-forming nodes within spiral galaxies (pictured)

JWST has taken other images of spiral galaxies, with an image revealing the chaotic Cartwheel galaxy 489.2 million light-years from Earth.

JWST has taken other images of spiral galaxies, with an image revealing the chaotic Cartwheel galaxy 489.2 million light-years from Earth.

Much like a wagon wheel, its appearance is caused by an extreme event – a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy not visible in this image.

Other telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, have examined the cartwheel previously.

But the dramatic galaxy was shrouded in mystery — perhaps literally, given the amount of dust obscuring the view.

JWST’s infrared capabilities mean it can ‘see past time’ within just 100 to 200 million years of the Big Bang, allowing it to take pictures of the first stars to shine in the universe more than 13.5 billion years ago.

Its first images of nebulae, exoplanets and galaxy clusters sparked huge celebrations in the scientific world in what was hailed as the “great day of mankind”.

Researchers will soon begin to learn more about the masses, ages, histories and compositions of galaxies as the telescope seeks to explore the oldest galaxies in the universe.

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James Webb Telescope: NASA’s $10 billion telescope is designed to detect light from the oldest stars and galaxies

The James Webb Telescope has been described as a “time machine” that can help unlock the mysteries of our universe.

The telescope will be used to look at the first galaxies born in the early universe more than 13.5 billion years ago, observing the sources of stars, exoplanets, and even the moons and planets of our solar system.

The massive telescope, which has already cost more than $7 billion (£5 billion), is considered the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

The James Webb telescope and most of its instruments have a temperature of about 40 K — about minus 387 Fahrenheit (minus 233 Celsius).

It is the world’s largest and most powerful orbiting space telescope, capable of looking back 100-200 million years after the Big Bang.

The infrared observatory orbiting it is designed to be about 100 times more powerful than its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA likes to think of James Webb as Hubble’s successor rather than a replacement, as the two will be working in tandem for a while.

The Hubble telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, via the space shuttle Discovery from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It orbits Earth at about 17,000 mph (27,300 kph) in a low Earth orbit at an altitude of about 340 miles.