Scientists: The age of the universe is much older than believed Scientists: The age of the universe is much older than believed

Scientists: The age of the universe is much older than believed

Scientists: The age of the universe is much older than believed

An international team of scientists has concluded that the age of the universe could be estimated at 26 billion years, and not approximately 17 billion years as currently believed.

Two years ago, a fifth galaxy, ZF-UDS-7329, was added to the list of four galaxies spotted at the edge of the universe by the James Webb Space Telescope. He called them all "impossible galaxies." This is according to scientists from the United States of America, Britain, Australia, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark in an article published by Nature magazine.

All discovered galaxies are located at a distance of more than 13 billion light-years from Earth. This is evidenced by the so-called red shift, which means that these galaxies were formed at the dawn of the universe, that is, only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, which, as is believed, caused the birth of the universe.

It is noteworthy that the sensitive camera (NIRCam) of the James Webb Telescope detects infrared rays coming from distant space objects, which reach us in a distorted form. As a rule, they are transferred to the red region of the spectrum. This phenomenon is called redshift.

It is believed that redshift appears as a result of the expansion of the universe. For example, galaxies move away and spread out after the Big Bang. The further away the galaxy is, the faster it is moving away and the greater the resulting shift.

According to current ideas, the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago. Therefore, those five galaxies whose images the telescope transmitted were among the first galaxies to appear when the universe was in its infancy. However, they appear much older, as if they evolved billions of years ago.

For example, the ZF-UDS-7329 galaxy is larger than the Milky Way and contains hundreds of billions of stars. How could this huge number of stars appear in only hundreds of millions of years?

Astrophysicists consider ZF-UDS-7329 an impossible galaxy, like its distant and aging "sisters", because it does not fit their ideas about the universe.  

Rajendra Gupta, a professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada, hypothesized two years ago, before the discovery of the “impossible” fifth galaxy, that the reason may lie in the fact that the universe is much older than believed. He said that its age may not be 13.8 billion years, but it may be about 26.7 billion years. In the "old" universe, "impossible" galaxies and stars would have had enough time to form and evolve.

The observed redshift, according to Gupta, may not refer to the expansion rate of the universe, but rather to the distance the light travels, as it ages along the way and moves to the red side of the spectrum.

It is noteworthy that the hypothesis regarding the aging of light was proposed by the Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky in 1929.

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