Astronomers discover "impossible" galaxies that have existed since the beginning of time
The James Webb Space Telescope has helped astronomers discover six giant galaxies, each about the same size as our Milky Way. What makes these galaxies special is that they formed remarkably quickly, just 500 million years after the Big Bang.
The authors of the study, reported by LiveScience, believe that such massive galaxies should not have existed and call them "destroyers of the universe," because the existence of such galaxies casts doubt on people's understanding of the formation of galaxies.
"That's crazy. You don't expect that the early universe could have self-organized so quickly. These galaxies shouldn't have had time to form," said study co-author Erica Nelson, associate professor of astrophysics at the University of Colorado.
So far, humanity has no definitive answer as to when exactly in the universe the first galaxies appeared. It is believed that the formation of embryos took place within the first few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Dwarf galaxies reached their dwarf size after about 1-2 billion years in the life of the universe, and only later they began to consume each other, becoming large galaxies similar to our Milky Way.
Scientists can see the oldest galaxies because light travels in the vacuum of space at a fixed speed. This means that the deeper mankind is able to look into the universe, the more distant light we intercept, and accordingly, the further back in time we see. OBOZREVATEL described this paradox in detail in another article, which can be read here.
Now, using the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers have been able to look some 13.5 billion years into the past and discover giant galaxies that originated after the Big Bang, when the Universe was only 3% of its present age.
The published study states that the galaxies discovered "contradict 99% of cosmological models. Therefore, scientists will either have to change existing models or fundamentally rethink the scientific understanding of galaxy formation.
Nelson explained that our universe forms about one or two new stars every year, and the galaxies detected, if you estimate their size, "should have formed hundreds of new stars a year throughout the history of the universe."
"If even one of these galaxies is real, it will push the boundaries of our understanding of cosmology," the astrophysicist stressed.
Astronomers don't rule out that the celestial objects they've discovered aren't galaxies, but huge quasars or supermassive black holes.
"This is our first look so far back in time, so it's important that we remain impartial about what we see," said study co-author Joel Lea, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University.
He admits, however, that by all accounts the objects found are likely to be exactly galaxies, although there is a possibility that they turn out to be obscured supermassive black holes.
"Regardless, the amount of mass we found means that the known mass of stars in this period of our universe is up to 100 times larger than we previously thought. Even if we cut the sample in half, it would still be an astounding change," he said. Leia.
In the near future, astronomers intend to create a spectral image of giant galaxies. This will give them better distance data and a better idea of the chemical composition of the anachronistic monsters lurking at the beginning of the universe.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told about the fact that scientists have found a dwarf planet Kvavar contrary to science ring.