The James Webb Space Telescope may have detected a 13.4 billion-year-old galaxy

These days the media attention is at its maximum when it comes to Space and in particular the James Webb space telescope. After the launch in December last year, it was necessary to wait several months before seeing what its potential was, then materialized with the arrival of the first images and data that include the spectrum of an exoplanet and much more (such as Jupiter and the galaxy Messier 74).

The first image to be shown is that of the deep field which in a space of sky the size of a grain of sand held at an arm’s length, has included hundreds of galaxies. A sensational image but that could be even more so because it could include one of the most celestial objects “old” among those observed so far: the galaxy GLASS-z13. The data will need to be confirmed, but it could be a very important discovery (and just the beginning).

The James Webb Space Telescope and the GLASS-z13 galaxy at 13.4 billion light years

In these hours a study has been published that would refer precisely to galaxy call GLASS-z13 which would now be at a distance of 33 billion light years from Earth due to the expansion of the Universe. This would mean that, if confirmed, the object would have 13.4 billion years (with the light that would have traveled to us for 13.4 billion years) and would have formed when theUniverse it had only been in existence for 300 million years. A time frame that in astronomical terms is relatively very short.


Currently the study still has to pass peer review (peer-review) and could then be revised, corrected, modified or withdrawn if errors are found in the analyzes. This is why we are still cautious in defining this result of James Webb space telescope. However, there are some data that would give scientists a cautious optimism.

jwst galaxy

Come underlined by the scientist James O’Donoghuethis galaxy would be close in age to the one known as HD1 detected by the Hubble Space Telescope in April (at the limit of its potential) while it would exceed GN-z11 by 100 million years (it would have formed 400 million years after the Big Bang) . For JWST instead this is just the beginning with the tools and analysis techniques that still need to be refined (who wrote the study noted that the errors could be due to working with a new tool).


The astronomer Chris Lintott he also added that it has not yet been possible to perform an analysis of the galaxy’s spectra GLASS-z13 (which remains the best method for estimating distance and age). However, the analysis of the brightness in different wavelengths would seem to be consistent with what was written in the study. Lintott also added that, if the discovery is confirmed, there may have been more galaxies rich in young or forming stars than previously thought. The technological and technical limit of the James Webb space telescope it should be able to detect galaxies with an age of up to 13.8 billion years, thus surpassing all previous records (once all the instruments are properly tested).

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