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Webb telescope discovers surprising 'universe-breaking' phenomena far beyond our galaxy

The James Webb Space Telescope has gone back in time to uncover six massive galaxies that existed more than 500 million years after the Big Bang.

Webb telescope discovers surprising 'universe-breaking' phenomena far beyond our galaxy
Cover Image Source: NASA

The James Webb Space Telescope's infrared capabilities have allowed it to go back in time to the early universe, up to 13.5 billion years ago. What researchers found has been described as 'universe-breaking': six massive galaxies that existed 500 to 700 million years after the Big Bang. These galaxies are so massive they conflict with 99% of models that represent early galaxies in the universe. 

PennState reports that lead researcher Professor Joel Leja of Penn State University said, “We expected only to find tiny, young, baby galaxies at this point in time, but we’ve discovered galaxies as mature as our own in what was previously understood to be the dawn of the universe.” He added that “the revelation that massive galaxy formation began extremely early in the history of the universe upends what many of us had thought was settled science”.

Image Source: NASA
Image Source: NASA


The current theory suggests that galaxies began as small clouds of stars and dust that grew over time, but these newly discovered galaxies are so massive, they challenge this theory. Professor Leja said, “We looked into the very early universe for the first time and had no idea what we were going to find. It turns out we found something so unexpected it actually creates problems for science. It calls the whole picture of early galaxy formation into question.”

The results of this discovery have caused scientists to rethink how galaxies formed and evolved, as the current models can’t explain how galaxies could have grown so quickly in such a short period of time. It proves that the universe is far more mysterious and complex than we ever imagined.

Image Source: NASA
Image Source: NASA


Scientists were astounded to discover something they had never seen before while analyzing the first high-resolution images released by the James Webb Space Telescope. The galaxies appeared as large points of light, and the team initially thought they had made a mistake in interpreting the data. After further investigation, they concluded that these galaxies were real and, in fact, far larger and brighter than they had expected.

The research team then set out to determine why the galaxies had grown so quickly. In order to gain a better understanding of the galaxies, they took a spectrum image, which involves splitting light into different wavelengths. This allows them to define various elements and calculate the true distance of the galaxies.

Image Source: NASA
Image Source: NASA


The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest infrared telescope in space and was designed to see the genesis of the cosmos. It is much more powerful than the Hubble Space Telescope and the high resolution of its images allows it to view objects that are very old, distant, or faint.

The results of this investigation were eye-opening. It was revealed that the galaxies identified with the Webb data are likely up to 100 times more massive than previously thought. This means that the known mass of stars in the early universe is significantly greater than expected. While the data suggests that these objects are galaxies, there is still a possibility that a few may turn out to be obscured supermassive black holes. This discovery has left scientists in awe, as it was something they had never thought to ask the universe. It has also opened up the possibility of new research and understanding of the early universe.

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