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Recently, some extremely old galaxies that have astounded astronomers have been discovered using the James Webb Space Telescope, which keeps surprising scientists. The galaxy candidates defy presumptions about the early cosmos by being considerably more massive than anyone anticipated would be possible.
When the universe was still in its infancy, between 500 and 700 million years after the Big Bang, an international team of astronomers discovered six possible galaxies in an area of space near the Big Dipper constellation. One of the researchers, Joel Leja of Penn State, remarked, “These objects are considerably bigger than anyone thought.” “At this period, we expected only to find tiny, immature, baby galaxies, yet we’ve found galaxies that are as mature as our own in what was formerly thought to be the universe’s infancy.”
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The galaxies appear to have about as many stars as the Milky Way of today, but they are far more compact. The researchers emphasize that they need additional information to establish whether these galaxies are in fact as old as they appear, but if true, it would have a significant impact on how we view the early universe.
Erica Nelson of CU Boulder, one of the researchers, remarked, “It’s nuts.” Simply put, you don’t anticipate the early cosmos to be able to organize itself so quickly. These galaxies shouldn’t have had the chance to develop.
Although some of the objects may turn out to be supermassive black holes or quasars, the researchers believe that galaxies are more likely to be the objects in question. If even one of these galaxies is true, it will test the boundaries of what we know about cosmology, according to Nelson.
The problem is that the early galaxies should be relatively small and only gradually get bigger over a lengthy period of time, according to the existing cosmological models.
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Leja remarked, “We had no idea what we were going to see as we peeked into the very early universe for the first time. We truly discovered something so unexpected that it poses challenges for science. It casts doubt on the model for how early galaxies originate as a whole.
The study is presented in the Nature journal.