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The James Webb Space Telescope monitors primordial galaxies to discover their secrets

The James Webb Space Telescope monitors primordial galaxies to discover their secrets

The notes continue James Webb Space TelescopeBut this time it's not about the formation of exoplanets or the detection of brown dwarfs with auroras produced by methane gas. the JWST He actually pushed himself to the edges of the universe, “Go back in time” to observe Primordial galaxies and their surrounding environment. Thanks to the precision of which it is capable and the capabilities of tools such as nercam (observed in near infrared) it is possible to capture details that have never been seen before.

In particular, the researchers focused on a very interesting aspect: the possibility of taking a photo Light emitted by hydrogen atoms Which, in theory, should have been blocked by the surrounding gas, preventing it from reaching the detectors.

According to what was stated in the study Deciphering Lyman-α emission in the depth of the reionization epochGalaxies at that very distant period in time and space had a high star formation rate and emitted at wavelengths associated with hydrogen atoms. However, the emission was blocked by other hydrogen molecules capable of absorbing and scattering it. This would prevent telescopes from observing the structures present at that time (according to initial hypotheses).

However, recent studies have begun to shed light on that period as well James Webb Space Telescope Scientists helped. The question that the researchers asked themselves is: “How can this emission, which has been virtually absorbed, be observed?”. nercam It was used to observe faint, small galaxies, and discovered that the surrounding space was actually richer in matter than previously thought, with many small galaxies (out of reach of other instruments) present. One of the target galaxies has been named EGSY8p7 It can be seen in the image below.

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These types of galaxies were also prone to merging to form larger galaxies. Sergio Martin Alvarez (from Stanford University) said “Whereas Hubble sees just one large galaxy, Webb sees a collection of smaller interacting galaxies, and this discovery has had a major impact on our understanding of the unexpected emission.”.

At this point, simulation took over through computational models that sought to better understand this chaotic and changing environment. What is hypothesized is that star formation also due to the merger of smaller galaxies has led to a greater emission of hydrogen atoms, so large that it is able to exceed “barrier” of neutral hydrogen which would have made it invisible. All of this passes through openings in the barrier itself, which explains this phenomenon.