September 30, 2023

The Macy’s Galaxy is much younger, but still very old

from Valentine Sattler
Discovered about a year ago by the James Webb Space Telescope, the Maisie Galaxy is much smaller than originally thought. Even correcting for the time of its formation, it is one of the oldest galaxies known to date.

With the James Webb Space Telescope, there have been much better ways of examining the universe for distant galaxies since last year. One of the first discoveries was the Maisie galaxy, which, according to the knowledge available at the time, was formed only 290 million years after the Big Bang. According to more recent observations, this assessment was wrong, but the Macy’s galaxy is still very old.

100 million years

According to the University of Texas at Austin, it should not have taken 290 million years after the Big Bang, but 390 million years for the formation of the galaxy. The reason for this fallacy may be an error in the initial configuration of the James Webb Telescope, which overestimated the power of some wavelengths by as much as 20%. As a result, some galaxies appeared older in the first measurements than they actually are.

by measuring it in the meantime The red shift of the emitted light, from which one can infer the distance and thus the age of the galaxy in question, leading to the time of the new formation. Even with the value corrected, the Maisie galaxy is still among the four oldest galaxies observed to date. The situation is different with CEERS-93316: here, a very large redshift of about 16 was initially measured. For comparison: the Maisie galaxy has a magnitude of only 11.4. CEERS-93316 appears to be much older.

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in your Posted on nature Scientists correct the original measurements. So the actual redshift in CEERS-93316 should only be a relatively unspectacular 4.9. The reason for the erroneous assumption is allegedly caused by an unusual color spectrum corresponding to a galaxy much more distant. Fortunately, subsequent measurements corrected this error.

source: University of Texas at Austin