Webb Telescope spots celestial sparkler among universe's earliest galaxies |  CNN

Webb Telescope spots celestial sparkler among universe’s earliest galaxies | CNN

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The very first image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope reveals some of the oldest stars and galaxies in the universe, including one that looks like a sparkler, according to new research.

The breathtaking first sight of Webb was released by President Joe Biden on July 11 and it’s “the deepest, sharpest infrared image of the distant universe to date,” according to NASA.

Webb’s first image shows SMACS 0723, where a massive group of galaxy clusters act as a magnifying glass for the objects behind them.

Called gravitational lensing, this created Webb’s first deep-field view that includes incredibly old and faint galaxies. Deep-field observations are long observations of regions of the sky that can reveal faint objects.

The image of SMACS 0723 is

Some of these distant galaxies and star clusters have never been seen before. The galaxy cluster is depicted as it appeared 4.6 billion years ago.

Now, researchers have performed an analysis of Webb’s first deep field and spotted the most distant globular clusters ever seen. These clusters are dense groups that contain millions of stars, some of which may be the first and oldest stars in the universe. A study detailing the findings was published Thursday in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“JWST was designed to find the first stars and galaxies and to help us understand the origins of complexity in the universe, such as chemical elements and the building blocks of life,” said Lamiya Mowla, co -study lead author and Dunlap. Fellow of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, in a press release.

“This discovery in Webb’s first deep field already provides detailed insight into the early phase of star formation, confirming the incredible power of JWST.”

An interesting feature in the deep field has been dubbed the Sparkler galaxy because it appears to be surrounded by sparkling red and yellow dots. The galaxy is located nine billion light-years away.

The sparks could be either young clusters where stars were actively forming just three billion years after the Big Bang, or ancient globular clusters of stars from the earliest days of galaxy formation.

The surrounding environment of the Sparkler galaxy has been analyzed in detail.

The team analyzed 12 of the sparks and determined that five of them are among the oldest known globular clusters ever found.

“Watching the first images from JWST and discovering ancient globular clusters around distant galaxies was an incredible moment, one that was not possible with previous Hubble Space Telescope imagery,” said Kartheik G. Iyer, co-lead author of the study and Dunlap Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, in the release.

“Because we were able to observe the sparks over a range of wavelengths, we were able to model them and better understand their physical properties, such as their age and the number of stars they contain. We hope that knowing that globular clusters can be observed at such great distances with JWST will stimulate science and the search for similar objects.

Webb’s sensitivity and resolution shed light on previously unknown aspects of the universe, such as the clusters surrounding the Sparkler galaxy.

“These newly identified clusters formed near the first time it was even possible to form stars,” Mowla said. “We are observing the Sparkler as it was nine billion years ago, when the universe was only four and a half billion years old, looking at something that happened a long time ago. Think of it as guessing a person’s age based on their appearance – it’s easy to tell the difference between a 5 and 10 year old child, but hard to tell the difference between a 50 and 55 year old man.

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