Historic! NASA James Webb Space Telescope finds the oldest galaxy GLASS-z13

In what is a historic moment, NASA James Webb Space Telescope has found a galaxy called GLASS-z13 that existed 13.5 billion years ago. It is the oldest and most distant galaxy.

Space is full of unidentified and undiscovered objects, galaxies, and what not. And now the James Webb Space Telescope has created history by finding a galaxy that existed 13.5 billion years ago. The galaxy is known as GLASS-z13 and it is the oldest galaxy in the universe seen by man. A report by AFP quoted a scientist who analysed the data as saying, “Just a week after its first images were shown to the world, the James Webb Space Telescope may have found a galaxy that existed 13.5 billion years ago.”

The galaxy GLASS-z13 dates back to just 300 million years after the Big Bang, which is about 100 million years earlier than anything previously identified, Rohan Naidu of the Harvard Center for Astrophysics told AFP. “We’re potentially looking at the most distant starlight that anyone has ever seen,” he said.

Dr. James O’Donoghue, planetary scientist, science communicator and amateur animator, who previously worked with NASA, and now at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, tweeted about the Galaxy. “JWST has potentially smashed records, spotting a galaxy which existed when the universe was a mere 300 million years old! The light from GLASS-z13 took 13.4 billion years to hit us, but the distance between us is now 33 billion light years due to the expansion of the universe!,” the tweet read. The tweet was further retweeted by NASA’s chief scientist Thomas Zurbuchen.

It can be known that the more distant objects are from us, the longer it takes for their light to reach us and the farther they are from Earth.

The exact age of GLASS-z13 is not yet known as it could have formed anytime within the first 300 million years. However, the galaxy is said to exist in the earliest era of the universe. “GLASS-z13 was spotted in so-called “early release” data from the orbiting observatory’s main infrared imager, called NIRcam — but the discovery was not revealed in the first image set published by NASA last week,” AFP said.

The report further added, “When translated from infrared into the visible spectrum, the galaxy appears as a blob of red with white in its center, as part of a wider image of the distant cosmos called a “deep field.”

Naidu and colleagues — a team totaling 25 astronomers from across the world – have submitted their findings to a scientific journal. For now, the research is posted on a “preprint” server, so it comes with the caveat that it has yet to be peer-reviewed — but it has already set the global astronomy community abuzz.

“We searched all the early data for galaxies with this very striking signature, and these were the two systems that had by far the most compelling signature,” said Naidu, as quoted by AFP. One of these is GLASS-z13, while the other, not as ancient, is GLASS-z11.

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