the discovery of an ancient galaxy redefines modern astronomy!

An artificial intelligence-generated image of the Milky Way-like galaxy CEERS-2112 discovered by JWST.  Credit: DALL-E3/Bing
An artificial intelligence-generated image of the Milky Way-like galaxy CEERS-2112 discovered by JWST. Credit: DALL-E3/Bing
Roberta Duarte Roberta Duarte Meteor Brazil 8 minutes

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy. This means it has spiral arms and a bar in the middle. Both the bar and the arms are composite of stars, gas and dust, the cuboid is an ordered set.

The search for galaxies similar to ours is one of the most important areas of research for astronomers that concentrate on these types of objects. Finding it could provide answers to questions about our own Milky Way, such as: how is it formed? How does the evolution of the Milky Way work? And how did we even get here?

Last, the James Webb Space Telescope discovered a galaxy similar to ours, but with an interesting detail: it was observed when the universe was still extremely young. This could have consequences for astronomy. This discovery was published in the journal Nature and was led by the Center for Astrobiology in Spain.

Milky Way: our galaxy

Our solar system is located in the Orion arm, just like all the stars we see with the naked eye. The Orion arm is one of the four visible arms of the Milky Way, a spiral galaxy. Besides the poor, The Milky Way has a bar made up of stars organized in an orderly manner.

The Milky Way consists of 4 spiral arms and a bar in the middle. It is classified as a barred spiral galaxy.

We know the structure of our galaxy from observations at different wavelengths and by comparing it with other similar galaxies. The part opposite ours is difficult to observe because it is ‘hidden’ by the center of the Milky Way.

How were galaxies formed?

One of the great debates in astronomy is explaining the formation of galaxies. The most widely accepted idea was that galaxies formed at some point during the Age of Darkness. about 300 million years ago, after the creation of the universe.

Parts of the Milky Way with its 4 spiral arms and the central bar.  Credit: Lumen Learning.
Parts of the Milky Way with its 4 spiral arms and the central bar. Credit: Lumen Learning.

In that time, Galaxies were believed to be small and still forming. This hypothesis was supported by evidence from the Hubble telescope, which detected small areas of formation in the near periods. The James Webb Space Telescope has been launched to observe this period in detail, but what he discovered was not as expected.

The James Webb Telescope’s Biggest Discovery (Yet)

Since the beginning of the year, discoveries based on data from the James Webb Telescope have indicated this that galaxies formed long earlier than expected. This is because when they were supposed to be small and still forming, the James Webb Telescope has detected large and mature galaxies.

Around this time, sensational news stories emerged suggesting that the Big Bang was being questioned. The Big Bang remains the best explanation for the beginning of the formation of the universe. However, what needs to be re-examined is the question of how galaxies form and when they appear.

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It is always worth remembering that the question of galaxy formation has always been an unresolved question. The James Webb Telescope was the first telescope with the technological capacity to detect these galaxies and shed light on this question.

The twin galaxy of the Milky Way.

The team from the Center for Astrobiology in Spain discovered the galaxy called CEERS-2112. It is a barred spiral galaxy very similar to the Milky Way and the most distant of its kind ever found. Ceers-2112 was created when the universe was less than a billion years old.

Galaxies such as the Milky Way are generally considered mature galaxies and were expected to have formed when the universe was older. Ceers-2112 challenges everything we know about galaxy evolution, suggesting revisions will be necessary.

The chaos of the beginning of the universe

Except it has to be small, Galaxies were also initially intended to be chaotic and disorganized. The organization had to arise with their evolution over billions of years of the universe’s history. The galaxy Ceers-2112 already shows an organized structure, especially the presence of the bar, which contradicts these initial expectations.

The bar of a galaxy is a well-organized structure usually located at the center, where the spiral arms usually begin.

The formation and evolution of a galaxy bar, an important component of spiral galaxies, still remains a mystery. The discovery of CEERS-2112 disrupts what we already knew and brings new questions and uncertainties in this area.

Two aspects of astronomy will need to be reexamined

In accordance with the discoveries made early this year, ceer-2112 shows that our knowledge of the timing of galaxy formation and their evolution will need to be completely reexamined. Theoretical models will be reevaluated and new analyzes of the universe’s components, such as dark matter, will be conducted.

The second aspect is that we did not expect to find barred galaxies so early. Ceers-2112 shows that this was already possible when the universe was still very young. Now astronomers will also start to concentrate on the search for other excluded galaxies from this era, which was not expected before this discovery.

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