For the first time in the history of astronomy monitoring the birth of the oldest galaxies in the universe For the first time in the history of astronomy monitoring the birth of the oldest galaxies in the universe

For the first time in the history of astronomy monitoring the birth of the oldest galaxies in the universe

For the first time in the history of astronomy monitoring the birth of the oldest galaxies in the universe
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For the first time in the history of astronomy, scientists were able to observe the birth of three of the first galaxies in the universe.

The Niels Bohr Institute team, a research center affiliated with the University of Copenhagen , witnessed , for the first time, “directly” documenting the birth process of three of the oldest galaxies ever in the universe, between 13.3 and 13.4 billion years ago, using the James Webb Space Telescope.


Through infrared telescope viewing, scientists were able to distinguish large amounts of hydrogen accumulating around a small galaxy in the process of formation.

Although the process of galaxy birth was already known through theories and computer simulations, until now no one had actually observed it.

In addition, this was the farthest measurement ever made of this cold, neutral gas, which is the main component of stars and galaxies.

“These are arguably the first direct images we have ever seen of galaxy formation,” said Kasper Elm-Heintz of the Niels Bohr Institute, who led the study. "While James Webb previously showed us early galaxies in later stages of their development, here we witness their birth, and thus the construction of the first star systems in the universe," he noted.

Scientists estimate that the birth of the three galaxies occurred approximately 400 to 600 million years after the Big Bang.

While this seems like a long time, it corresponds to galaxies that formed within the first 3% to 4% of the universe's total age of 13.8 billion years.

Shortly after the Big Bang, the universe was a massive dark gas of hydrogen atoms, unlike today, where the night sky is dotted with a blanket of well-defined stars.

"Within a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, the first stars formed, before stars and gas began to merge to form galaxies. This is the process we see beginning in our observations," explains Associate Professor Darach Watson.

The birth of galaxies occurred at a time in the history of the universe known as the era of reionization, when the energy and light of some of the first galaxies penetrated clouds of hydrogen gas.

These large quantities of hydrogen gas were captured by scientists using the infrared vision of the James Webb Space Telescope. This is the most distant measurement of cold, neutral hydrogen gas, the building block of stars and galaxies, that scientists have discovered to date.

1 Comments

  1. Wow! The universe is filled with wonders.

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