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Unveiling the Secrets of Galaxy GN-z11: James Webb Space Telescope Finds Evidence of Universe’s Oldest Stars

The James Webb Space Telescope observed the 13.37 billion-year-old galaxy GN-z11 and found one of its oldest stars.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has found evidence of the existence of first-generation stars. that may be the oldest in the entire universe It is located in the galaxy “GN-z11,” one of the most distant galaxies known to man.

The galaxy GN-z11 was discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2015 and, prior to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, was the most distant galaxy known.

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If you ask how do you know? We have to take everyone to get to know something called “Red Shift” first.

Redshift, or redshift. is the principle that physicists and astronomers use to see that What luminous objects in space are moving away from Earth, such as stars?

by the light emitted by the star It’s like normal light. That is, it can be separated into “spectrum” or many different colors, each color having Different “wavelengths” The red color has the longest wavelength.

Therefore, when a luminous object or star moves away from Earth The more light we can see it takes longer to travel. Equal to light having an increased wavelength. And we will see the object become redder and redder.

To summarize and make it easy to understand: the farther an object is, We will see it red.

And astronomers have created a numerical value of redshift called the “z value” to indicate how far away an object is from us. And how long does it take for the light of that object to reach Earth?

If light took 1 million years to travel to Earth, the z value would be 0.0000715. Or, if the z value was 1, light would take 7.731 billion years to travel, and if it was 10, it would mean the object took 13.184 billion years. To shine light on the world

And the galaxy GN-z11 we’re talking about has a z value of 10.6!

That means The galaxy took more than 131.84 billion years for light to reach Earth. Therefore, it is equal to Its age is also more than 13.184 billion years. The exact number for its age is approximately 13.37 billion years.

Meanwhile The theory of the origin of the universe that is currently believed is the Big Bang theory, or a large explosion. which is estimated to have occurred 13.8 billion years ago. This means that our universe has been around for 1.38 billion years.

When subtracting each other Therefore, it can be calculated that the galaxy GN-z11 was born in the first 430 years after the Big Bang. In other words, it is one of the oldest ancient galaxies in the universe.

When everyone understands that Why do we know its age? We went on to see what evidence the James Webb camera discovered.

A team of astronomers led by Roberto Maiolino from the University of Cambridge examined GN-z11 with two of Webb’s infrared cameras: the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) and the Near Infrared Spectrometer (NIRSpec).

Researchers have discovered evidence of the universe’s first generation of stars, called “Population III” stars, as well as supermassive black holes that devour enormous amounts of matter and grow at enormous rates.

Scientists have been able to calculate the ages of stars in galaxy GN-z11 based on their abundance of heavy elements. which will be created by previous generations of stars that were born and died and spew those heavy elements into space Ultimately, they are recycled from star formation to form new stars.

in classification Young stars that formed in the last 5-6 billion years are called Population 1 stars and contain the most heavy elements. Our Sun is a population 1 star, while older stars and has less heavy elements will be these 2 populated stars

Population 3 is thought to be a star that formed early in the universe. And because no other star had ever existed before. They therefore contain no heavy elements and were created from pure hydrogen and helium forged during the Big Bang. It is believed that these early stars were very bright. with a mass equivalent to at least several hundred suns combined

Maiolino’s team detected evidence in galaxy GN-z11, with NIRSpec noting clusters of ionized helium near the edge of GN-z11.

“The fact that we don’t see anything other than helium. This indicates that this galaxy must be relatively pristine… This is what we expect to happen based on theories and simulations of these ancient massive galaxies. that there should be a group of pure gases remaining And these could collapse and form populated star 3,” Maiolino said.

This helium gas is being ionized by something that produces enormous amounts of ultraviolet light. That is a population 3 star, and it is possible that The helium seen may be material left over from the formation of those stars.

The research team estimated that The amount of ultraviolet light required to ionize all gases It would take a total of about 600,000 stellar masses and be 20 trillion times brighter than our sun.

These numbers indicate that Distant galaxies such as GN-z11 are likely to have more massive star formation than galaxies in the modern universe.

Meanwhile Maiolino’s team also found evidence of a supermassive black hole with a mass equivalent to 2 million suns at the center of GN-z11.

“We found very dense gas that is common in the vicinity of supermassive black holes that harbor gas… These are the first clear signs that GN-z11 has a matter-eating black hole. ” Maiolino said.

The team also detected powerful clouds of radiation emanating from the accretion disk rotating around the black hole. The same is true for the ionized chemical elements often found near energetic black holes.

The research team said It is the most distant supermassive black hole ever discovered. and its hunger makes its aggregation disk dense and hot. and shines brightly Together with Population III stars, they are what makes the galaxy GN-z11 shine so brightly.

Compiled from Space.com

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