According to a statement from Harvard & amp; Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The light source in question, a galaxy that the researchers themselves called HD1, traveled 13.5 billion light-years to reach Earth and was later picked up by a team of astronomers from the Astrophysical Center. Two studies have been published in The Astrophysical Journal, Monthly Notices of Letters of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Capturing the details of such a distant object is a remarkable feat.
Fabio Paccucci, lead author of the MNRAS study and co-author of the ApJ study, explains that it is still difficult to understand and especially describe such a distant source of light. It’s a bit like determining the nationality of a distant ship by examining its flag looming in thick fog and in the midst of a storm. You can see some connotations of the flag but you can’t get the full picture.
However, it is possible to develop scenarios and see which are more believable.
It might be a star galaxy.
First, the researchers know that the HD1 light source is extremely bright in the ultraviolet range. The researchers initially assumed it was a standard star. A stellar galaxy is a galaxy in which new stars are being formed at a very high rate.
However, upon closer examination, the researchers discovered that the rate of formation of this galaxy was 100 stars per year, which is much higher than the rate of explosion of galaxies.
early universe galaxy
So researchers began to suspect that the stars forming in this galaxy were not ordinary stars. What we observe is a galaxy from the beginning of the universe. We observe this at a point in the universe when the first constellations of stars appeared. As Pacucci explains, the first stars that formed in the universe were much larger, brighter, and hotter than the average stars that formed today.
HD1 stars may belong to Population III
If HD1 stars were just this type of star, their special properties would be more easily explained. In particular, the researcher believes that the information stars of the HD1 galaxy belong to the third group. These are the stars, which are all now extinct, that formed during the first stage of star formation in the universe that were completely devoid of metals. Stars of the third group can produce more ultraviolet light than ordinary stars, which in particular explains the high level of ultraviolet luminosity of HD1.
There may also be a supermassive black hole.
However, a supermassive black hole could also be triggered to explain this high level of luminosity. The latter will scatter huge amounts of gas and high-energy photons in the surrounding area, which may also explain the maximum level of luminosity.
If it was indeed a black hole, it would be the oldest ever discovered, and the closest to the moment of the Big Bang of all primordial black holes ever discovered. The researchers now plan to use the new James Webb Space Telescope to take a closer look at HD1, in part to confirm its distance and see if it is indeed the oldest and most distant galaxy ever discovered.
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