NASA / ESA / CSA / Dan Coe (STScI) / Rebecca Larson (UT) / Yu-Yang Hsiao (JHU) / Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
The James Webb Space Telescope is turning to the end of time again, sending back to Earth an image of a mysterious object called MACS0647-JD, which was also viewed by the Hubble telescope 10 years ago. While the second observatories mentioned above were barely a visible point on the map of the universe, JWST saw a strange structure in the same place, which led to a lively discussion among NASA scientists.
MACS0647-JD, after analyzing Hubble images from 2012, has been classified as a very distant galaxy, located about 13.3 billion light-years from Earth. It is estimated that it formed only 427 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only 3% of its current age. Hubble and Webb were able to analyze the MACS0647-JD thanks to the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. When observing the MACS0647 galaxy cluster, the foreground structure acted as a kind of magnifying glass, amplifying the light of distant objects – including the MACS0647-JD. The important thing is that in the images of both telescopes, triplets appeared in different parts of the image, which are affected by the gravitational lens.
But what is MACS0647-JD really? Its discoverer, Dan Koo, comments on the subject as follows:
In the case of the Hubble images, it was just a faint red dot. We can then conclude that it was a very young galaxy that was born in the first 400 million years after the Big Bang. Now we look there thanks to Webb and we can distinguish two things! We are actively discussing whether they are two separate galaxies or if they are two groups of stars in one galaxy.
NASA reports that after assigning colors to individual wavelengths, one of these objects is more blue, while the other – red. Gases of this color have different properties. Blue indicates very young stars and no cosmic dust, while red indicates slightly older stars. It is also possible that we are dealing with colliding galaxies; If true, it would be the most distant and ancient event of its kind that mankind has experienced in the history of space exploration.
MACS0647-JD – New Image of the Webb Telescope
The European Space Agency, in turn, posted a video on the web comparing images of MACS0647-JD from the Hubble and Web telescopes:
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