Unlike other distant galaxies that have been discovered, which appear as small red dots, the two new galaxies are large and have an unusual appearance - one resembles a peanut and the other a fluffy ball, which indicates the variety of galaxies in the early universe. The reason why they can be seen is because of the accelerating expansion of the universe
The James Webb Space Telescope has confirmed the existence of the two most distant galaxies ever observed, in a region of space known as the Pandora cluster. The galaxies, which are located about 33 billion light-years from Earth, are large and have a much different appearance than other galaxies discovered at such great distances.
The discovery was made using data obtained from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. An international team led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania confirmed the distance of these ancient galaxies, and inferred their properties with the help of new spectroscopy data obtained from the telescope. These distant galaxies can provide important insights into how the first galaxies formed.
Unlike other distant galaxies that have been discovered, which appear as small red dots, the two new galaxies are large and have an unusual appearance - one resembles a peanut and the other a fluffy ball. The study of these new galaxies and their properties revealed the great variety of galaxies that existed in the early universe, and teaches about the great potential that lies in the study of galaxies of this type.
The light that reached us from the galaxies was emitted from them about 13.4 billion years ago, when the universe was only about 330 million years young. Because the universe is constantly expanding, today the galaxies are about 33 billion light years away from Earth. The find allows us a glimpse into a very early period of the universe, which is still surrounded by a lot of mystery.
The researchers used the models to infer the properties of the galaxies as they emitted the light received by the James Webb Space Telescope. As expected, it turned out that these are young and active galaxies, with few metals and a high rate of new star formation. These discoveries are in good agreement with the accepted models of the formation of the first galaxies after the Big Bang.
However, significant differences are already evident between the two galaxies, even though they were apparently formed from similar materials. This finding raises questions about the processes of galaxy formation and their development in the young universe. The researchers hope that in the future more galaxies will be discovered at these vast distances, and thus a deeper understanding of the beginning of the universe will be possible.
These galaxies were first discovered in one of the first images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope in 2022, in an area specifically chosen for a strong gravitational pull effect created by galaxy clusters. This effect magnifies and focuses distant light that passes nearby, thus allowing for improved observation.
From about 60,000 light sources detected in the image, the team quickly narrowed the list down to about 700 potential candidates for extremely distant galaxies. The James Webb Space Telescope then targeted the same area again and collected spectroscopy data on the same candidates. The data analysis confirmed that two of the galaxies are indeed at a record distance, and thus their unique size and shape became clear.
This impressive discovery is possible thanks to the advanced capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope in the field of observation in infrared frequencies. It is possible that in the future even more distant galaxies will be located with the help of this instrument. This is only the telescope's first year of science, but already at this stage it is clear that it will allow us to penetrate deeper than ever into the early past of the universe.
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