The term ‘RX J2129-z95’ might not say anything to you if you’re like most people. Even those who are regularly interested in astronomy might have some trouble figuring out what the term means. That’s because we’re talking about the designation for a small galaxy that existed when the Universe was very young. Furthermore, the galaxy in question gives birth to stars at an incredibly high rate.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope spotted the RX J2129-z95 galaxy from the early Universe, according to space.com. Due to advanced technical capabilities of Webb, astronomers are able to see the galaxy just as it was about 13.2 billion years ago, meaning when the Universe was very young.
The capabilities of the James Webb Space Telescope even made it possible for the small galaxy in question to be observed in better detail – due to its enormous distance from us, the galaxy was mainly very faint.
La galaxia RX J2129-z95 ha sido detectada por el James Webb gracias al efecto de lente gravitatoria. Se formó tan solo 510 millones de años después del Big Bang. Por @RafaelBachiller https://t.co/VkdmMVSWBz
— El Mundo Ciencia (@elmundociencia) April 13, 2023
Hayley Williams, who is a Ph.D student from the University of Minnesota and also the leader of the new research regarding the RX J2129-z95 galaxy, explained for space.com:
The star-formation rate is similar to other high-redshift galaxies confirmed with NIRSPec, but the radius of the galaxy is at least three times smaller than those other galaxies,
This means that a ton of star formation is packed into a very tiny volume.
Astronomers generally believe that the first galaxies that started to illuminate the Cosmos were born during the first billion years after the famous Big Bang event. A lot of time was needed for even the first atoms to form in the Cosmos – roughly a few hundred million years.
The amazing capabilities of Webb make it the best space telescope out there, as it is capable of allowing astronomers to see deeper in space than ever before. We’re eagerly looking forward to finding out more news regarding James Webb’s discoveries!