Here’s a fact that we all need to learn how to deal with: there are trillions of galaxies out there in the observable Universe, and astronomers will never get to explore them all, regardless of how hard they try. However, the remarkable achievements of a team of brilliant Israeli astrophysicists now get into the spotlight. These scientists, who activate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, embarked on a journey to unravel the mysteries of massive galaxies that had formed very early in our Universe’s history.
Using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers ventured into the cosmic depths, capturing mesmerizing images that revealed an astonishing abundance of colossal galaxies. Even in the infancy of the Universe, meaning shortly after the Big Bang, these celestial bodies flourished in ways that defy scientists’ expectations.
Blame it on the high density and scarcity of heavy elements
It has now been discovered that in these primordial galaxies, a unique combination of high density and scarcity of heavy elements created an ideal environment for efficient star formation, as The Jerusalem Post reveals. Free from space disturbances, these celestial nurseries gave rise to an extraordinary symphony of stars.
Led by the esteemed Prof. Avishai Dekel, the team, comprising Prof. Yuval Birnboim, Dr. Nir Mandelker, Dr. Kartick Sarkar, and Dr. Zhaozhou Li, conducted their research at the Racah Institute of Physics, which is nestled in the Safra Campus (Givat Ram). With 90 esteemed faculty members, this institution serves as a beacon of knowledge, exploring the frontiers of astrophysics and condensed matter physics.
Prof. Avishai Dekel explained as The Jerusalem Post quotes:
Already in the first half-billion years, researchers identified galaxies that each contain about ten billion stars like our Sun,
This discovery surprised researchers who tried to identify plausible explanations for the puzzle, ranging from the possibility that the observational estimate of the number of stars in galaxies is exaggerated, to suggesting the need for critical changes in the standard cosmological model of the Big Bang.
This discovery challenges our long-held beliefs about galaxy formation, inviting us to embark on a new journey of understanding. It ignites our curiosity and compels us to reconsider the awe-inspiring wonders of the cosmos.
The new study was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.