The first stars in the universe were discovered thanks to James Webb's telescope

The first stars in the universe were discovered thanks to James Webb's telescope

On July 12, the whole world was waiting for the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope.

Although they have been the subject of intensive research for decades, scientists do not know when or how the globes will be formed.

Our Milky Way galaxy has about 150 globular clusters, most of which are estimated to be 10 billion years old, and the clusters are likely to have formed very early before the galaxy splashed into a spiral disk.

Recently, with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope, they have identified the most remote balloon clusters ever discovered in Webb's first picture in the deep field, among some of the earliest galaxies in the universe.

As the co-author of the study explained in his statement, Associate Professor Adam Muzzin of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of York University: ".

So in a detailed picture of the deep field of Webba, researchers focused on the so-called "Galaxy Sparkler", which is nine billion light-years away from us to understand what's going on around it.

The team made a hypothesis that these sparks could be either young, actively emerging stars.

So far, astronomers have not been able to see the compact objects surrounding the Sparkler galaxy using the Hubble Space Telescope. This has changed because of the increased resolution and sensitivity of JWST, showing for the first time the tiny points surrounding the galaxy.

In addition, the Sparkler galaxy is special because it is 100 times larger because of an effect called gravitational lens. Specifically, the accumulation of SMACS 0723 galaxies distorts what is behind it. Like a giant gravitational glass, it causes a variation of light. In addition, the gravitational lens creates three separate images of Sparkler, allowing astronomers to study galaxy in more detail because these multiple images are perfectly correlating in all respects.

On the basis of an initial analysis of 12 of these compact sites, researchers have determined that five of them are not only balloon clusters, but also one of the oldest known ones.

In addition, Webb's Near-Infrared Imager and Slitles Spectrograph device, researchers did not observe any oxygen emission lines typical of the young clusters in which active star formation takes place. NIRISS also helped solve the geometry of the three images of Sparkler and its balloon clusters.

As Marcin Savitzki explains, the Canadian Professor of Astronomy, Professor of St. Mary's University and co-author of the study: ".

In search of the first stars and the origin of the universe

As mentioned earlier, there are about 150 globes in the Milky Way. Astronomers know that the globes can be very old, but it is very difficult to measure their age. The use of very far-off balloon clusters to date the first stars in distant galaxies has never been done before and is possible only with JWST.

In this case, researchers have combined new data with the near infrared JWST with HST archival data. NIRCam detects weak objects using longer, more red wave lengths to observe beyond what is visible to the human eye and even to HST.

Chris Willott, the head of the CANUCS team at the Herzberg Research Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Research Council, said: ".

For this reason, scientists believe that the age of the clusters suggests that they were formed at a time when the previously dark and open universe became transparent, allowing light to pass freely, which means that their education may be linked to the early stages of galaxy formation.

Finally, James Webb will be monitoring the CANUCS fields from October 2022, using JWST data to study five massive clusters of galaxies around which researchers expect to find more similar systems. Future research will also model a cluster of galaxies to understand the lens effect and provide more reliable analyses to explain the history of star formation.