A team of researchers from Denmark and Australia used the extraordinary capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope to travel back billions of years to the period immediately after the Big Bang, when galaxies first formed . The researchers published their results in the journal Nature Astronomy (“Chemical enrichment dilution in galaxies 600 Myr after the Big Bang”). Study co-author and associate professor of astrophysics Claudia Lagos, from the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at the University of Western Australia, said the researchers discovered that in more than 12 billions of years, galaxies follow the same set of rules as they have come. to the rate of star formation as well as their mass and chemical composition. Associate Professor Lagos said: “It was as if the galaxies were following a rule book – but surprisingly, this cosmic rule book appears to have undergone a dramatic rewrite during the beginning of the universe”.
Associate Professor Lagos said: “It was as if the galaxies were following a rule book – but surprisingly, this cosmic rule book appears to have undergone a dramatic rewrite during the beginning of the universe”. “The most surprising finding was that ancient galaxies produced far fewer heavy elements than we would have expected based on what we know about galaxies that formed later. “In fact, their chemical abundance is about four times lower than expected, based on base-metal relationships observed in later galaxies.” Associate Professor Lagos said the findings challenged previous ideas about how galaxies evolved in the early universe, showing that early galaxies were closely tied to the space around them and influenced by their cosmic neighborhood.
Dr Lagos said: “The most surprising thing is that early galaxies were constantly receiving new pure gas from their surroundings, with the influx of gas diluting the heavy elements inside the galaxies, making them less abundant. more focused”. This discovery challenges existing theories about the evolution of galaxies and raises questions about the mechanisms at work during the formative years of the universe, opening the door to further exploration of these processes. universe influenced the development of the first galaxies.