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Observations reveal mysterious galaxy – “Pushing the limits of understanding”

2024-02-25T21:02:30.891Z

Highlights: Observations reveal mysterious galaxy – “Pushing the limits of understanding”.. As of: February 25, 2024, 9:17 p.m By: Tanja Banner CommentsPressSplit The galaxy ZF-UDS-7329 is unexpectedly large. It contains more stars than the Milky Way, even though it was formed 800 million years after the Big Bang. This means that it must have formed without dark matter - even if the standard model of galaxy formation says otherwise.



As of: February 25, 2024, 9:17 p.m

By: Tanja Banner

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The galaxy ZF-UDS-7329 is unexpectedly large.

© Swinburne University of Technology

A newly discovered galaxy contains far too many stars for its age.

Researchers are surprised - the galaxy shouldn't actually exist.

Melbourne - A research team has used the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to make a discovery that was previously thought impossible: The telescope has discovered a galaxy in the early universe that is so massive that it shouldn't even exist.

The galaxy ZF-UDS-7329 contains more stars than the Milky Way, even though it was formed 800 million years after the Big Bang.

This means that it must have formed without dark matter - even if the standard model of galaxy formation says otherwise.

“We tracked this particular galaxy for seven years, observing for hours with the two largest telescopes on Earth to find out how old it is,” recalls study leader Karl Glazebrook (Swinburne University of Technology).

“But it was too red and too faint and we couldn’t measure it.

In the end, we had to leave Earth and use the JWST to confirm its nature.” The study was published in the journal

Nature

.

How did galaxies form so quickly very early in the universe?

Dr.

Themiya Nanayakkara, who led the spectral analysis of the JWST data, emphasizes: “We are now going beyond what was possible to confirm the oldest massive dormant monsters that exist deep in the universe.” And further: “This is where we start the limits of our current understanding of how galaxies form and evolve.

The key question now is how these galaxies formed so quickly very early in the universe, and what mysterious mechanisms caused them to abruptly stop forming stars while the rest of the universe did.”

The newly discovered galaxy confuses researchers because it contradicts the previous theory of galaxy formation.

“The formation of galaxies is largely determined by how dark matter is concentrated,” explains co-author Claudia Lagos in a statement.

“The fact that these extremely massive galaxies appear so early in the universe poses significant challenges to our standard model of cosmology.”

Dark matter didn't have time to form so early after the Big Bang

The research does not assume that the dark matter, which is actually required for such massive galaxies, has already had time to form.

That's why the researcher emphasizes: "More observations are needed to understand how common these galaxies might be and to help us understand how massive these galaxies really are."

Study leader Glazebrook is pleased: “JWST has found more and more evidence for the formation of massive galaxies in early times.

This result represents a new record for this phenomenon.” But the researcher also emphasizes: “Although it is very noticeable, it is only one object.

But we hope to find more;

and if we do that, it will really upend our ideas about galaxy formation.”

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Source: merkur

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