NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has made a groundbreaking discovery. The telescope has detected a group of galaxies that astronomers are calling “universe breakers” due to their unprecedented brightness and size.
The galaxies were found in a region of space known as the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, which has been the subject of extensive observation by the Hubble Space Telescope and other instruments. Scientists were studying light that originated from approximately 500 to 700 years after the Big Bang.
While observing, researchers from Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology noticed that certain galaxies had already matured and were significantly larger than expected during that era. Ivo Labbe, one of the researchers, stated, “While most galaxies in this era are still small and only gradually growing larger over time, there are a few monsters that fast-track to maturity. Why this is the case or how this would work is unknown.”
The size and maturity of these galaxies were so unexpected that Labbe and his team thought they had made a mistake.
Joel Leja from Pennsylvania State University, commenting on the discovery, said, “The revelation that massive galaxy formation began extremely early in the history of the universe upends what many of us had thought was settled science. It turns out we found something so unexpected that it actually creates problems for science. It calls the whole picture of early galaxy formation into question.”
According to the team of astronomers, the “universe breaker” galaxies are unlike anything seen before. They are incredibly bright, emitting light at levels that are 10 to 100 times higher than other galaxies of similar size. Their size is also notable, with some of them estimated to be more than 10 times larger than the Milky Way.
— SPACE.com (@SPACEdotcom) February 22, 2023
The discovery of these galaxies is significant because it sheds new light on the early universe, a time when galaxies were just beginning to form. By studying these “universe breaker” galaxies, astronomers hope to gain new insights into how galaxies and the universe as a whole evolved over time.
This is just the beginning of what promises to be a new era in space exploration. The James Webb Space Telescope has a planned mission life of 10 years, during which it will continue to observe the cosmos and make new and groundbreaking discoveries.