The six candidate galaxies might completely alter our current understanding of the origins of galaxies and the early universe.
A study claims that the James Webb Space Telescope has discovered six massive galaxies that emerged soon after the Big Bang and astounded scientists by forming at a rate that completely defies what is currently understood about the early universe.
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The James Webb telescope has been supplying data on the far reaches of space ever since it turned on in July of last year. According to data from the telescope, six large galaxies that appear to be as developed as the Milky Way were found, according to astronomers on Wednesday. These galaxies are thought to have been created between 540 and 770 million years after the Big Bang.
What did the researchers say?
Ivo Labbe, the lead researcher from the Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology, expected to find very small galaxies at this early stage of the universe, but he discovered giants.
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There are a few monsters that fast-track to maturity, he said, while the majority of galaxies in this era are still young and only gradually expanding in size. We don’t know why this is the case or how this would function.
“This is a fantastic discovery that was unanticipated. Astrophysicist at Penn State and study co-author Joel Leja stated, “We believed that galaxies form over much longer periods of time. Nobody anticipated discovering these. These galaxy candidates are simply too advanced for what we would expect. They appear to have evolved more quickly than what is predicted by our fundamental models.
In order to be certain that they were all galaxies and not another type of light sources, such as a supermassive black hole, additional observations were needed, which is why Leja referred to them as galaxy candidates.
The intriguing part is that even if only a small portion of these galaxies prove to be massive, they are so massive that they alone would contradict our current estimates of the total mass of stars. It would imply that stars now have 10 to 100 times more mass than was previously thought, and it would also imply that galaxies form in the universe much more quickly than previously thought.
Dark matter is deemed crucial for the formation of galaxies
The galaxies appeared to have masses between 10 and 100 billion times greater than that of the sun, with 100 billion times being roughly equivalent to the mass of the Milky Way.
It has been hypothesized that dark matter, an invisible substance that exerts a gravitational pull on ordinary matter, is essential for galaxy formation after the Big Bang.
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According to the prevailing theory, dark matter oceans filled the early universe following the Big Bang.
This mysterious dark matter began very smooth and ripple-free. We have no idea what it is. Over time, the gravitational effects of these ripples increased, and the dark matter eventually started to condense into concentrated clumps, dragging hydrogen gas along with it. A galaxy is made up of stars, gas, and dark matter clumps, and the hydrogen gas in the galaxy is what will eventually turn into stars, according to Labbe.
The chain of events that led to the formation of later star generations began with their explosion, according to Labbe.
Labbe continued, “Webb never ceases to surprise and amaze us. “So, yes, the early universe was much more diverse and rich, with monsters and dragons among its inhabitants. However, more is still being revealed.