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Webb telescope to help you find Milky Way-like galaxies in early universe: All you need to know

Alexander de la Vega, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside stated "This galaxy, named ceers-2112, formed soon after the Big Bang."

Edited By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Updated on: November 12, 2023 19:11 IST
Webb telescope, Milky Way
Image Source : NASA Webb telescope to help you find Milky Way-like galaxies in early universe

It has been reported that a team of astronomers have been using the powerful James Webb Space Telescope which is capable of capturing the most distant barred spiral galaxy which is similar to the Milky Way, as per the observation to date.

Until now it was believed that the barred spiral galaxies which look like the Milky Way were unobserved before the universe. It is estimated to be around 13.8 billion years old and has reached half of its current age. 

Alexander de la Vega, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside stated "This galaxy, named ceers-2112, formed soon after the Big Bang." 

He said, "Finding ceers-2112 shows that galaxies in the early universe could be as ordered as the Milky Way. This is surprising because galaxies were much more chaotic in the early universe and very few had similar structures to the Milky Way.” 

The research was published in the journal Nature. Ceers-2112 has a bar in its center.

Also, De la Vega has explained that a galactic bar has a structure which is made up of stars within the galaxies. Galactic bars look like bars in our everyday lives, just like candy bar.

He further stated that the non-spiral galaxies, also find bars, but they are very rare.

De la Vega said, "Nearly all bars are found in spiral galaxies.”

It added further, "The bar in ceers-2112 suggests that galaxies matured and became ordered much faster than we previously thought, which means some aspects of our theories of galaxy formation and evolution need revision."

Astronomers' were earlier understanding the galaxy evolution which took several billion years for galaxies to become ordered enough to develop bars.

"The discovery of ceers-2112 shows that it can happen in only a fraction of that time, in about one billion years or less," de la Vega said.

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Earlier, when the universe was relatively new, the galaxies were chaotic and unstable. It was thought that bars could not form or last long in galaxies in the early universe.

The discovery of ceers-2112 is reportedly expected to change at least two aspects of astronomy. 

"First, theoretical models of galaxy formation and evolution will need to account for some galaxies becoming stable enough to host bars very early in the universe's history," de la Vega said.

"Second, the discovery of ceers-2112 demonstrates that structures like bars can be detected when the universe was very young."

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Inputs from IANS

 

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