by Carlos Garcia
Scientists say that images from the James Webb Space Telescope may change how they understand the origins of the universe after they discovered “the impossible.”
The findings were published in the journal “Nature” on Wednesday.
Astronomers expected to find “tiny, young, baby galaxies” from the cosmic history documented in the images, but they found something else entirely.
The study’s lead author, Ivo Labbé, explained how shocked he was when he realized what the images meant.
“Little did I know that among the pictures is a small red dot that will shake up our understanding of how the first galaxies formed after the Big Bang,” Labbé said.
“I run the analysis software on the little pinprick and it spits out two numbers: distance 13.1 billion light years, mass 100 billion stars, and I nearly spit out my coffee,” he continued. “We just discovered the impossible. Impossibly early, impossibly massive galaxies.”
In addition to the “pinprick” galaxy, the next day they discovered five other possible galaxies exhibiting the same unexpected qualities.
The “massive galaxies” were documented as they were only 700 million years from the beginning of the universe, which is believed to be a spry 13.8 billion years old.
“These objects are way more massive than anyone expected,” explained astronomer Joel Leja. “We’ve discovered galaxies as mature as our own in what was previously understood to be the dawn of the universe.”
Leja went on to say the new findings may upend what scientists previously believed to be settled science.
“We looked into the very early universe for the first time and had no idea what we were going to find,” Leja explained. “It turns out we found something so unexpected it actually creates problems for science. It calls the whole picture of early galaxy formation into question.”
The James Webb Space Telescope cost NASA $10 billion and launched in 2021. Many on the left are incensed that the telescope was named after a brilliant scientist who is accused of being complicit with homophobic firings at NASA in the 1950s and 1960s.