For the first time, researchers have been able to investigate incredibly tight formations of star clusters inside galaxies, known as clumps, thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope’s first photographs of galaxy clusters.
Researchers from Stockholm University have examined the initial stages of star formation in far-off galaxies in a report that was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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“The galaxy clusters we studied are so enormous that, as predicted by Einstein in 1915, light rays travelling through their centre bend.
Consequently, the images of the background galaxies are enlarged, creating a sort of magnifying glass effect “One of the study’s primary authors, Adélade Claeyssens of the Department of Astronomy at Stockholm University, explains the findings.
The magnifying glass effect with the James Webb Space Telescope’s resolution allowed the researchers to see star clumps, which are extremely small galaxy structures.
A few million years after the Big Bang, the researchers were able to analyse the relationship between clump formation, evolution, and galaxy growth in a way that had never been feasible before thanks to these data.
The James Webb Space Telescope’s photos demonstrate our ability to discern very minute structures inside extremely distant galaxies and that we can find these clumps in many of these galaxies.
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One of the study’s primary authors, Angela Adamo of the Oscar Klein Center at Stockholm University, claims that the telescope “is a game-changer for the entire area of research and helps us understand how galaxies develop and evolve.”
Due to its great distance from us, we can observe the oldest galaxy investigated in the research as it appeared 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only 680 million years old.