Astronomers have discovered the oldest spiral galaxy – a twin of the Milky Way

The James Webb Infrared Space Telescope has discovered the oldest barred spiral galaxy ever discovered. It is very similar to our Milky Way, but it formed when the universe was 2 billion years old. This means that this type of galaxy appeared much earlier than scientists thought. About two-thirds of all spiral galaxies known to astronomers (nearly 60% of all galaxies in the universe), including the Milky Way, have a central bar, a huge, elongated structure filled with young stars. There is a structure. The spiral arms of such galaxies are highly twisted and begin at the ends of the bars, whereas in normal spiral galaxies these arms extend from the center of the galaxy.

Models of galaxy formation and evolution exhibit that barred (and non-barred) buildings commenced to show up solely about 4 billion years after the Big Bang. Scientists agree with that in the early Universe, analogues of the Milky Way, if found, are extraordinarily rare, considering they are too “fragile” and should no longer live on mergers with different comparable objects. At the starting of time, such “cosmic accidents” had been pretty common. A crew of scientists from the Spanish Astrobiology Center, led via Luca Costantini, observed the oldest barred galaxy to date in a dataset from the James Webb Space Telescope. The researchers stated that this galaxy used to be already mature when the universe was once two billion years historic and intently resembles the Milky Way. Scientists labored with pictures of hundreds of very far-off galaxies from Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS), which James Webb obtained in June 2022. The effects of the work have been posted in the journal Nature.