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A spiral galaxy discovered in the early Universe

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Nov19,2023

A spiral galaxy discovered in the early Universe

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The barred spiral galaxy ceers-2112 observed in the primitive Universe. (Artistic illustration)

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A spiral galaxy of the same type as the Milky Way has been spotted at the edge of the Universe by an international team of astronomers using data collected by the James Webb space telescope.

Concretely, ceers-2112 is the most distant barred spiral galaxy detected to date. In this type of galaxy, the spiral arms do not emerge from the center of the galaxy, but from a band of stars that crosses this center.

This detection is a big surprise for astrophysicists who until now thought that it took several billion years for galaxies to become sufficiently structured and ordered to develop bars.

Thus, they estimated that this type of galaxy could only have appeared when the Universe reached at least half its age, which is around 13.8 billion of years.

The discovery of ceers-2112 shows that this can happen much more quickly, perhaps even in less than a billion years.

Our work reveals that galaxies similar to the Milky Way already existed 11.7 billion years ago, when the Universe was only 15% of its current age, explains the astronomer Luca Costantin, from the Spanish Institute of Aerospace Technology and lead author of the article published in the journal Nature (New window) (in English).

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The Milky Way and the two Magellanic clouds.

By studying the structure of galaxies that are at different distances (which correspond to different ages of the Universe), scientists are trying to reconstruct the universe. evolution of our own Milky Way.

However, in the nearby Universe, the vast majority of massive spiral galaxies are barred.

However, according to theoretical models, the physical conditions that prevailed in the early Universe did not favor the formation of bars in galaxies, since these bars must appear in spiral galaxies whose stars rotate in an orderly manner.

The discovery of ceers-2112 shows that galaxies in the early Universe could be as ordered as the Milky Way, which is surprising, says astronomer Alexander de la Vega of the University of California in a press release. at Riverside, who participated in the work.

Our theoretical models of training and #x27;Galaxy evolution will have to take into account the fact that some galaxies became stable enough to accommodate bars very early in the evolution of the Universe.

A quote from Alexander de la Vega, University from California to Riverside

You should know that galactic bars play an important role in the evolution of galaxies, since they promote the mixing of elements, essential to the formation of stars (like the Sun).

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Current knowledge of primitive galaxies is mainly based on data obtained using the Hubble Space Telescope, but the extraordinary capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope will certainly revolutionize our understanding of the distant Universe.

With James Webb, for the first time we have the technology and instruments to study the morphology of very distant galaxies in detail, helping us understand how galaxies acquired the structures that characterize them today to understand the evolution of the Universe.

A quote from Luca Costantin, Institute of Aerospace Technology of Spain

The James Webb telescope was launched on December 25, 2021 from French Guiana. It is able to look further into the Universe than all other telescopes thanks to its immense main mirror and its four instruments perceiving infrared signals, which allows it to pierce dust clouds.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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