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Editorial of the Day (3rd June): Earliest Known Galaxy

Context: The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has recently identified a galaxy known as JADES-GS-z14-0, which is the oldest galaxy observed to date.

About the Earliest Known Galaxy

  • This galaxy originated approximately 290 million years after the Big Bang, which occurred about 13.8 billion years ago.
  • Astronomers determine the distance of galaxies like JADES-GS-z14-0 by measuring their redshift value, a technique based on the stretching of light wavelengths due to the expansion of the universe.
    • The phenomenon known as redshift causes light to move toward the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, indicating that the galaxy is moving away from us.
    • The telescope is specifically equipped to study the significantly redshifted light from distant galaxies, making discoveries like JADES-GS-z14-0 possible.
  • This finding allows astronomers to explore the “Cosmic Dawn“—a period marking the emergence of the earliest galaxies.

Why is the JADES-GS-z14-10 Galaxy So Bright?

  • Hypothesis 1: Initially, it was thought that the brightness might be due to supermassive black holes consuming material, but this has been dismissed since the observed light is more diffused than expected from such activity.
  • Hypothesis 2: It is speculated that these early galaxies contain more stars than previously believed.
  • Hypothesis 3: Another theory suggests that these galaxies house stars that are inherently brighter than those found in later periods.
About the Telescope
About: It is an orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, with longer wavelength coverage and greatly improved sensitivity.

Editorial of the Day (3rd June): Earliest Known Galaxy_4.1

  • Development: Began in 1996 was developed by NASA, with contributions from the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
  • Launch: Launched in 2021, it has an anticipated mission duration of between 5 to 10 years.
  • Location: Positioned at the second Lagrange point (L2), roughly 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, in a direct line away from the Sun.
  • Telescope Size: Features a primary mirror that is 6.5 metres in diameter, offering a significantly larger light-collecting area compared to existing space telescopes.
  • Wavelength Coverage: Operates across wavelengths from 0.6 to 28 microns, encompassing a broad range of the infrared spectrum.

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