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Webb telescope discovers ancient galaxy built like the Milky Way

Webb telescope discovers ancient galaxy built like the Milky Way

#Webb #telescope #discovers #ancient #galaxy #built #Milky Welcome to Alaska Green Light Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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Hubble (left) and Webb (right) images of EGS 23205 at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths.

The Webb Space Telescope’s newest target is one previously imaged by Hubble: the distant barred spiral galaxy EGS23205. Goals like this will improve our understanding of the early Universe and how ancient stars and galaxies formed.

The above two images show EGS23205 as seen by Hubble and Webb. Hubble’s image of the galaxy (taken in the near-infrared) is much noisier, and the galaxy’s structure is harder to discern. But Webb’s image (at mid-infrared wavelengths) is much sharper, showing a clear bar of stars extending from the galactic center.

Starbars are huge galactic cross-sections made up of myriad stars. The bars play an important role in galactic evolution; They push gas towards the galactic center, contribute to star formation and feed the supermassive black holes that lie within galactic cores. Our own Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy.

Analysis of the image was submitted last year to the preprint server arXiv. Webb has imaged many ancient galaxies in just six months of scientific work.

Some of Webb’s targets are among the earliest galaxies seen so far, and they appear to Webb as if they were only several hundred million years after the Big Bang (the Universe is now nearly 14 billion years old).

Webb telescope reveals Milky Way-like galaxies in a young universe

EGS23205 looks like it did about 11 billion years ago. The image shows that even early galaxies had well-defined bars (spiral galaxies were thought before to be much later in-universe arrivals).

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“Barely visible in Hubble data, the bars just popped up in the JWST image, showing the tremendous power of the JWST to see underlying structure in galaxies,” said Shardha Jogee, astronomer at UT Austin and co-author of the research, in a press release.

Webb has previously imaged other objects once captured by Hubble. In October, the new $10 billion observatory saw the Pillars of Creation, huge clouds of gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula. In the same month, the Webb team created an image of merging galaxies 270 million light-years from Earth, taken by Hubble in 2008.

The two space telescopes observe mostly at different wavelengths – Hubble mainly in the visible wavelength range and Webb mainly in the infrared and near-infrared range. Webb’s living craftsmanship builds on Hubble’s mechanical shoulders. Head-to-head image comparisons show the differences between these stunning observatories and what’s possible with the latest technology.

More: The coming year in astronomy

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