The farthest and oldest galaxy ever detected

The farthest and oldest galaxy ever detected

The James Webb Space Telescope has recently broken its own record by detecting the most distant known galaxy, named JADES-GS-z14-0, just 290 million years after the Big Bang. This remarkable finding offers a glimpse into the early stages of the universe, representing a mere 2% of its current age.

Equipped with a powerful 6.5m-wide primary mirror and sensitive infrared instruments, the Webb telescope made this groundbreaking discovery. The size and brightness of JADES-GS-z14-0 have captivated astronomers, measuring over 1,600 light years across and emitting light from young stars rather than a supermassive black hole.

The unprecedented capabilities of the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope, a collaborative effort involving NASA, ESA, and CSA, allow it to peer deeper into space than ever before. One of its key objectives is to study the earliest stars that formed in the universe, shedding light on their brief yet brilliant lives and the creation of heavier chemical elements.

Despite its immense distance, JADES-GS-z14-0 displays a surprising amount of oxygen, suggesting a relatively mature galaxy. The presence of oxygen implies previous generations of massive stars existed, enriching the galaxy with heavier elements.

The significance of the JADES discovery is outlined in scholarly papers available on the arXiv preprint service. This milestone emphasizes the potential for future discoveries that could unveil even earlier galaxies, offering a deeper understanding of the universe’s origins and evolution.