What the huge young galaxies seen by JWST tell us about the universe

What the huge young galaxies seen by JWST tell us about the universe

Pictures of six galaxies, seen 500-800 million years after the large bang, captured by the James Webb House Telescope

NASA, ESA, CSA, I. Labbe, G. Brammer

THEY have been, on the face of it, inexplicably large. In February, astronomers introduced that among the many extraordinarily distant galaxies noticed by the James Webb House Telescope (JWST), six appeared a lot brighter, and subsequently a lot bigger and extra mature, than anybody had anticipated. One galaxy, pictured because it was simply 700 million years after the large bang, contained greater than 100 billion stars – roughly the identical quantity that our galaxy, the Milky Approach, has amassed over 13 billion years.

As soon as once more, cosmologists have been confronted with observations which might be unattainable to clarify in accordance with our greatest mannequin of how the universe advanced. Not sufficient time had elapsed to have introduced collectively that quantity of matter and turned it into this many stars. On the time, Mike Boylan-Kolchin on the College of Texas in Austin argued that the state of affairs posed a “critical problem” to our understanding of the cosmos.

And but, as astronomers pored over the info, it grew to become clear that the present cosmological mannequin is resilient, because it has confirmed so many instances earlier than. Or is it? As a result of though some analyses point out that these six galaxies aren’t as large as first thought, others counsel that they is likely to be even larger. This means that, relying on follow-up observations, we might but need to remake cosmology – most certainly by throwing new cosmic elements into the combination to clarify the obvious paradox.

“It mainly means you’re seeing galaxies earlier than they’ve time to assemble,” says Charles Steinhardt …

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