Kosmiskā evolūcija 5000 galaktikās

NASA Džeimsa Veba kosmiskais teleskops ir izlaidis 3D vizualizāciju, kurā redzamas gandrīz 5000 galaktikas, tostarp Macy’s Galaxy, viena no vecākajām galaktikām, kas izveidojās 390 miljonus gadu pēc Lielā sprādziena. Šis svarīgais novērojums parāda Webb uzlabotās attēlveidošanas iespējas, ļaujot pētniekiem izpētīt iepriekš neredzētas Visuma daļas un izvirzīt jaunus jautājumus par zvaigžņu veidošanos šajās agrīnajās galaktikās.

Dati parāda Webb spēju vienlaikus attēlot un identificēt tūkstošiem galaktiku.

Kosmosa teleskopa zinātnes institūta Sabiedrības informēšanas birojs ir izlaidis jaunu zinātnisku vizualizāciju datiem no Cosmic Evolution Early Publishing Science Survey (CEERS). Videoklips ir Veba izpēte par reģionu, kas pazīstams kā Extended Groth Strip, atklājot daudzas līdz šim neredzētas galaktikas. Tas demonstrē daudz galaktiku visā Visumā un noslēdzas ar Macy’s Galaxy, kas atrodas 13,4 miljardu gaismas gadu attālumā no Zemes.

Šī 3D vizualizācija attēlo apmēram 5000 galaktiku nelielā CEERS (Agrīnas palaišanas zinātnes kosmiskās attīstības) pētījuma daļā, kurā tika apkopoti dati no reģiona, kas pazīstams kā Extended Groth Strip. Kamēr kamera lido prom no mūsu skata, datu kopā katra sekunde ir vienāda ar 200 miljoniem gaismas gadu, pagātnē redzot vēl 200 miljonus gadu. Galaktiku izskats mainās, atspoguļojot faktu, ka tālu objekti tika redzēti agrākos laikos Visumā, kad galaktikas bija mazāk attīstītas. Videoklips beidzas ar Maisie’s Galaxy, kas izveidojās tikai 390 miljonus gadu pēc Lielā sprādziena jeb aptuveni pirms 13,4 miljardiem gadu.

Jaunā 3D vizualizācija izceļ 5000 galaktikas, kuras atklājis Webb kosmiskais teleskops

Šis video ir zinātniska galaktiku vizualizācija, kas uzņemta kā daļa no CEERS Aptauja (Early Launch Science of Cosmic Evolution), kas iepazīstina ar lielu misiju no iepriekš[{” attribute=””>NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. It flies by thousands of galaxies, starting with those nearby and ending with less-developed galaxies in the very distant universe, including one never seen before Webb. 

The area highlighted in this visualization is a small part of the Extended Groth Strip, a region between the Ursa Major and Boötes constellations originally observed by the Hubble Space Telescope between 2004 and 2005. While this vast region contains about 100,000 galaxies, the visualization focuses on approximately 5,000 – with the nearest and more complex galaxies, shown in the beginning, located within a few billion light-years of Earth. As the visualization proceeds, showing galaxies farther away from Earth, we see different stages of the universe’s history and evolution.

Extended Groth Strip

Extended Groth Strip. Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Davis (University of California, Berkeley), and A. Koekemoer (STScI)

The visualization’s farthest galaxy, known as Maisie’s Galaxy, is a target of great interest to astronomers. It formed about 390 million years after the big bang, or about 13.4 billion years ago. It’s not only one of the first bright, extremely distant galaxies found by Webb, but it’s also an example of an early galaxy that only Webb could see. This is because Webb’s instruments can capture the light from these early galaxies, which has been shifted to infrared wavelengths by the expansion of the universe. 

“This observatory just opens up this entire period of time for us to study,” said Rebecca Larson of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, one of the survey’s investigators. “We couldn’t study galaxies like Maisie’s before because we couldn’t see them. Now, not only are we able to find them in our images, we’re able to find out what they’re made of and if they differ from the galaxies that we see close by.”

Steven Finkelstein of the University of Texas at Austin, principal investigator of the CEERS program, continued, “This observation exceeded our expectations. The sheer number of galaxies that we’re finding in the early universe is at the upper end of all predictions.” The observatory’s ability to conduct surveys like these provides a demonstration of Webb’s instruments for astronomers to reference for future observations.

This visualization not only shows just how far Webb can observe, but also how much it builds off the accomplishments of Hubble. In many cases, Hubble’s observations, along with Webb’s data from the CEERS Survey, enabled researchers to determine which galaxies were truly far away – the early-universe galaxies of interest – and which were nearby, but so dusty that their visible light was obscured. 

With these observations, the next goal for researchers is to learn about the formation of stars in these early galaxies.

“We’re used to thinking of galaxies as smoothly growing,” Finkelstein remarked. “But maybe these stars are forming like firecrackers. Are these galaxies forming more stars than expected? Are the stars they’re making more massive than we expect? These data have given us the information to ask these questions. Now, we need more data to get those answers.” 

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency. 

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Angelica Johnson

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