The James Webb Telescope has captured images of ancient galaxies that, under the limited capabilities of the human mindset, shouldn’t theoretically exist.
An international team of scientists looking at images taken near the Big Dipper found six potential galaxies that are thought to have been formed 500 to 700 million years after the Big Bang, according to a study published in Nature. By the team’s calculation, the galaxies could contain as many stars as the Milky Way, and theoretically should not exist when held under our current, limited understanding of cosmological theory.
“We had specific expectations for the type of galaxies that live in the early universe: they are young and small,” one of the study authors Joel Leja told Space. “Previous studies of the early universe with Hubble and other instruments tend to find small, blue, baby galaxies at early times: objects which have just recently formed out of the primordial cosmic soup and are themselves building their early stars and structures.”
Leja and the team refer to these new discoveries as “universe breakers,” as they technically created a problem for science, The Hill reported.
‘Something Weird’ Is Happening In Space And Scientists Are Stumpedhttps://t.co/w3icCgbwbK
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Younger, newer stars are typically a bright blue color, and start to turn red as they grow older, Space noted. This is a theory called redshift. In the ancient galaxies Webb was designed to investigate, astronomers did not anticipate seeing any red stars, nor galaxies with upwards of a billion stars. Their results found something quite different.
“The most massive galaxies in our sample are estimated to have masses [two to four times lower] than that of our own Milky Way,” Leja continued in his comments to Space. “This was astounding — we’re finding galaxy candidates as massive as our own galaxy when the universe was 3% of its current age.”
The discovery is forcing astronomers to completely rethink reigning theories on the cosmos. (RELATED: Scientists Have Bizarre Theory For When Aliens Might Try To Contact Us)
It’s almost as if we humans don’t actually know everything and may have to become a little more open-minded in regards to our place in the cosmos. Could it be that all we have hypothesized over these years is not going to stand up to scrutiny and modern investigation? If so, it looks like the field of astronomy is going to go through the same upheavals as archaeology, and I am so here to watch it all happen.