These are the first stars of our universe

The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our solar system. It is estimated that within 4 billion years it will disappear as we know it now.
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A dead galaxy that stopped forming stars 13 billion years after the Big Bang has been discovered with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope. Opens doors to understanding the deep and primitive universe.

Dating JADES-GS-z7-01-QUThis is how this galaxy is named, makes it the oldest Of these features discovered so far.

The international team of astronomers who observed and studied it, and which included collaboration with the Center for Astrobiology (CAB) in Spain, determined that It was formed when the universe was only 700 million years old and was in a very active phase.

This galaxy experienced a rapid rate of star birth that lasted from 30 to 90 million years. Then, for some unknown reason, it suddenly stopped.

“He lived faster and died younger,” said the research team, led by Tobias Loeser.who was preparing for his doctorate in Extragalactic Astrophysics at the Kavli Institute of Cosmology at the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom).

An “all you can eat buffet” to make the stars.

In the report of researchers published in the Scientific Journal NatureThis is indicated Galaxies need abundant supplies of gas – primarily hydrogen – to form new stars. And that the early universe was “like an all-you-can-eat buffet of gas clouds”.

When chunks of matter come together in cool clouds of gas and dust floating in space (which we know as nebulae), Due to the effect of gravitational attraction, other particles continue to join together until a large mass is formed.

It contracts on its own, increasing its density, pressure and temperature. The new physical conditions cause atoms to move faster and collide with each other. Nuclear fusion reactions then begin, marking the birth of the star.

This is how a galaxy dies

In the case of JADES-GS-z7-01-QU, scientists have proposed several hypotheses to explain the rapid halt in its star formation process. most appreciated black hole formation or star formation reactionThis leads to the expulsion of gas into space and loss of the material needed to form new stars.

But galaxies can die for other reasons too. between them, when they are swallowed by larger ones or by collisions between them. A disturbing fact: for our galaxy, The galaxy has about 4 billion years of life left before it collides with our neighbor AndromedaTowards which we are moving at a speed of more than 400,000 kilometers per hour.

Astrophysicist Brant Robertson made this claim in a simulation conducted in 2006 and through which he also predicted that the Sun would survive that collision.

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This would be of little use to us because, by then, the Sun would have grown so large that it would scorch everything on Earth and turn it into a barren and uninhabitable land, as it happens on Venus. This will happen in 3.5 billion years. Then the Sun will swallow our entire solar system.

JADES-GS-z7-01-QU could have been revived

The galaxy as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope is located billions of light years away from Earth. If we keep this in mind One light year is equal to 9.46 trillion kilometers. What astronomers are now seeing is the galaxy as it existed 13 billion years ago.

Or, to put it another way, the distance is so immeasurable that the light the galaxy emitted as it died, It took so long to reach us.

Therefore, astronomers do not rule out the possibility that it is the same galaxy It could later regain favorable conditions to form new stars again. But this is something that, because of the laws of physics, we will have to discover many generations later.

News Reference:

Looser, T.J., D’Eugenio, F., Maillino, R. and others. A recently extinguished galaxy 700 million years after the Big Bang. Nature (2024).

(TagstoTranslate)Galaxy(T)James Webb Telescope(T)Astronomy(T)Black Hole(T)Universe

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