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Does Earth have a twin? James Webb Telescope discovers galaxy similar to Milky Way

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Does Earth have a twin? James Webb Telescope discovers galaxy similar to Milky Way

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Might Earth have a twin in a distant galaxy that appears identical to ours? Scientists have made an astronomical discovery that disputes earlier theories of galaxy formation. A global workforce of astronomers used NASA’s James Webb House Telescope to establish essentially the most distant barred spiral galaxy just like our Milky Means ever noticed. This discovering challenges earlier beliefs that galaxies like this one couldn’t be noticed till the universe was a lot older.

The newfound galaxy, ceers-2112, was fashioned shortly after the Huge Bang.

“Discovering ceers-2112 reveals that galaxies within the early universe could possibly be as ordered because the Milky Way,” says examine co-author Alexander de la Vega, a postdoctoral researcher within the Division of Physics and Astronomy on the College of California-Riverside, in a university release. “That is stunning as a result of galaxies had been way more chaotic within the early universe and only a few had comparable constructions to the Milky Means.”

De la Vega defined {that a} galactic bar is a construction inside galaxies, composed of stars, akin to the construction of a sweet bar in our on a regular basis lives. Whereas bars may be present in non-spiral galaxies, they’re exceedingly uncommon.

“Almost all bars are present in spiral galaxies,” notes de la Vega, who joined UCR final 12 months after receiving his doctoral diploma in astronomy at Johns Hopkins College. “The bar in ceers-2112 means that galaxies matured and have become ordered a lot sooner than we beforehand thought, which suggests some points of our theories of galaxy formation and evolution want revision.”

An artist’s composition of the Milky Way seen through a neutrino lens (blue).
An artist’s composition of the Milky Means seen by means of a neutrino lens (blue). (Credit score: IceCube/NSF (Lily Le & Shawn Johnson)/ESO (S. Brunier))

Beforehand, astronomers believed it took billions of years for galaxies to develop into ordered sufficient to develop bars. The invention of ceers-2112, although, signifies that this transformation can happen in about one billion years or much less.

Galactic bars are sometimes thought to type in spiral galaxies with stars rotating in an ordered method, very similar to within the Milky Means. In these galaxies, bars can spontaneously type attributable to instabilities within the spiral construction or gravitational results from neighboring galaxies. Nonetheless, it was beforehand believed that the unstable and chaotic galaxies within the early universe couldn’t assist the formation or persistence of bars.

The invention of ceers-2112 is predicted to have important implications for the field of astronomy.

“First, theoretical fashions of galaxy formation and evolution might want to account for some galaxies changing into steady sufficient to host bars very early within the universe’s historical past,” explains de la Vega.

“These fashions may have to regulate how a lot dark matter makes up galaxies within the early universe, as darkish matter is believed to have an effect on the speed at which bars type. Second, the invention of ceers-2112 demonstrates that constructions like bars may be detected when the universe was very younger. That is essential as a result of galaxies within the distant previous had been smaller than they’re now, which makes discovering bars tougher. The invention of ceers-2112 paves the best way for extra bars to be found within the younger universe.”

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De la Vega performed a vital function within the analysis by estimating the redshift and properties of ceers-2112 and contributing to the interpretation of the measurements. Redshift, he defined, is an observable property of a galaxy that signifies its distance and the way far again in time it’s seen, as a result of finite velocity of sunshine.

What shocked de la Vega essentially the most about this discovery was the accuracy with which the properties of ceers-2112’s bar could possibly be decided.

“Initially, I assumed detecting and estimating properties of bars in galaxies like ceers-2112 can be fraught with measurement uncertainties,” says de la Vega. “However the energy of the James Webb House Telescope and the experience of our analysis workforce helped us place sturdy constraints on the dimensions and form of the bar.”

The examine is revealed within the journal Nature.

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