Friday, May 24 2024 14:36 AEST

JWST Reveals A Massive Ancient Galaxy That Challenges Our Models of the Young Universe

An international research team have made incredibly detailed observations of the earliest merger of galaxies ever witnessed.

They suggest stars developed much faster and more efficiently than we thought. They used the James Webb Space Telescope to observe the massive object as it was 510 million years after the Big Bang, making it around 13 billion years ago.

The observations in the current paper show a galaxy consisting of several groups with two components in the main group and a long tail, suggesting an ongoing merger of two galaxies into a larger one.

This and other observations using the JWST is causing astrophysicists to adjust their modelling of the early years of the Universe with these findings showing galaxies were able to accumulate mass so fast by merging.

But it’s not only the size of the galaxies and the speed with which they grew that surprised this international team. Lead author Dr Kit Boyett writes in his paper how, for the first time, this describes the population of stars that make up the merging galaxies – another detail made possible by the James Webb Space Telescope.

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