NASA's Webb Space Telescope Discovers Milky Way-Like Galaxy In Early Universe, Here's What We Know

NASA's Webb Space Telescope Discovers Milky Way-Like Galaxy In Early Universe, Here's What We Know

It was believed that barred spiral galaxies like the Milky Way could not be visible until the universe, estimated to be 13.8 billion years old, had reached half its current age.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, November 11, 2023, 07:02 PM IST
article-image
The newly discovered spiral galaxy, called ceers-2112, appears to have had a bar of stars and gas cutting across its heart | Costantin_L / X

Scientists have spotted the most distant example of a galaxy in the universe that resembles our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Using the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers have identified the most distant barred spiral galaxy to date. Massive distances in space behave differently than one might expect. Because light takes a long time to reach us, when a celestial object is really far away, we perceive it as it was in the past. If we observe something a light-year away, we see it as it was a year ago since the light from it took a year to reach us.

Latest discovered spiral galaxy called ceers-2112

The recently discovered spiral galaxy, called ceers-2112, appears to have had a bar of stars and gas cutting across its heart when the universe was only two billion years old, similar to a slash across a no-smoking sign. Galactic bars are star-forming structures seen within galaxies. While bars can be found in non-spiral galaxies, they are uncommon since they are more abundant in spiral galaxies.

In the research paper issued in the journal Nature, Alexander de la Vega, who co-authored the report, said, "Almost all bars may be seen in spiral galaxies. The bar in ceers-2112 indicates that galaxies matured and became organised far faster than anticipated, implying that some of our ideas of galaxy formation and evolution need to be revised." 

Latest findings could challenge astronomy understanding

The ceers-2112's bar shows that galaxies can mature and become ordered considerably faster than astronomers previously thought. This means that some hypotheses about the birth and evolution of galaxies will have to be altered, according to de la Vega. 

Previously, astronomers thought that it takes billions of years for galaxies to become organised enough to become barred galaxies. But the ceers-2112's discovery changes everything. It indicates that bars can form in a fraction of that time, perhaps in one billion years or less. Galactic bars are thought to originate in spiral galaxies containing ordered rotating stars.

RECENT STORIES

Explained: Why Is India Facing The Longest Day Today?

Explained: Why Is India Facing The Longest Day Today?

'Purple Rain, Purple Rain': NASA Shares Visuals Of Aurora On Mars

'Purple Rain, Purple Rain': NASA Shares Visuals Of Aurora On Mars

In Pics: ISRO Published Recent Photos Sent By The AdityaL1 Of The 'Sun Fury'

In Pics: ISRO Published Recent Photos Sent By The AdityaL1 Of The 'Sun Fury'

What Is Cryonics? Australian Man Becomes 'Patient One' To Be Revived In Future

What Is Cryonics? Australian Man Becomes 'Patient One' To Be Revived In Future

Explained: What Is PET-CT Scan; Types, Process And Importance

Explained: What Is PET-CT Scan; Types, Process And Importance