NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has discovered the oldest galaxy ever seen in the universe. According to scientists, the galaxy called GLASS-z13 dates back only 300 million years after the Big Bang. The previous record-breaking galaxy is called GN-Z11. But the recently observed galaxy surpasses it in age by about 100 million years.
It is believed that the mass of the ancient galaxy GLASS-z13 exceeds one billion suns. Despite such a large mass, it is actually smaller in size than the Milky Way, which we call home. The width of the Milky Way is about 100 thousand light-years, while the width of the galaxy GLASS-z13 is only a few thousand light-years.
Scientists who noticed the ancient galaxy also found another one nearby – GLASS z-11. It was the same age as the previous record holder. Their size is quite small: GLASS-z13 is about 1600 light-years across, and GLASS z–11 is 2300 light-years.
“We have found two very convincing candidates for very distant and ancient galaxies. The distance to them is so great that when they were formed, the universe was only a few hundred million years old at that time,” explained astronomer Rohan Naidu.
It is possible that the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to see deeper and detect galaxies less than 200 million years old. As the researchers say in their findings, this could be a crucial step in fulfilling the JWST mission to create a global space map.
Earlier we reported that James Webb will help clarify the number of galaxies in the universe.
According to New Scientist
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