Nickel found in unusual form in ‘teenage’ galaxy

Astrophysicists have reported the first results from an analysis of the chemical composition of distant galaxies using data from the James Webb Space Telescope. This young galaxy was found to be unusually hot and contain trace amounts of nickel gas. A galaxy’s spectrum tells astronomers what happened in the past and what its future will look like, such as how long star formation will continue. However, scientists cannot always explain why new stars keep appearing in the Milky Way, even though some other galaxies have already “died”.

To understand evolution, astrophysicists study distant galaxies, galaxies that are in the early stages of development. Data for the new study was collected by the James Webb Space Telescope in summer 2023. He observed 33 distant galaxies for his 30 hours. After reviewing the data they had collected, an international group of scientists led by an astrophysicist from Northwestern University (USA) took an unusual step. The researchers “stacked” the spectra of 23 galaxies to obtain a “portrait” of a “youthful” galaxy with a redshift of z ~ 2-3 and active star formation. “This approach erases the features of individual objects, but gives us a picture of what the galaxy looks like on average. This allows us to see features that are less obvious,” said Alison Strom, who led the study. he explained. The study was published in “The Astrophysical Journal Letters.”