NASA’s James Webb Telescope Detects Organic Molecules in Remote Galaxy

NASA’s James Webb Telescope Detects Organic Molecules in Remote Galaxy

Trying to imagine how much 4 light-years can mean across space is truly mind-boggling. However, on a cosmic scale, it’s nothing. It’s about the same distance that separates our Solar System from the closest star to us, meaning Alpha Centauri. 

Now how about trying to imagine how much 12 billion light-years can mean? That’s surely a lot more than the human mind can handle. But even so, astronomers managed to traverse such a distance “virtually,” using the powers of the James Webb Space Telescope. What they found can truly be revolutionary.

James Webb detects organic molecules 12 billion light-years away from us

SciTechDaily informs that astronomers have made a groundbreaking discovery while using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, detecting complex organic molecules in a galaxy located more than 12 billion light-years away. The age of the galaxy indicates that it has been around when the Universe was just about 1 billion years old. 

The presence of these molecules, which are similar to smoke, soot, and smog found on our planet, challenges existing knowledge about their association with star formation. The remarkable finding was made possible by combining the capabilities of Webb and gravitational lensing, where two galaxies align perfectly from our perspective on Earth.

Spilker, who is an assistant professor in the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy, explained:

By combining Webb’s amazing capabilities with a natural ‘cosmic magnifying glass,’ we were able to see even more detail than we otherwise could,

That level of magnification is actually what made us interested in looking at this galaxy with Webb in the first place, because it really lets us see all the rich details of what makes up a galaxy in the early universe that we could never do otherwise.

The new discovery marks Webb’s first detection of complex molecules in the early Universe, providing valuable insights into galaxy formation and the history of the Universe.

The new research was published in Nature.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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