Astronomers in Japan have discovered the existence of oxygen in the most distant galaxy ever recorded by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The study was carried out by researchers at Nagoya University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and was published in the British scientific journal Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in December last year.
According to the news portal IFL Science, the galaxy detected by James Webb is called CHZ2/GLASS-z12 and would have appeared nearly 370 million years after the Big Bang. Special analysis of the radio telescope array SOUL detected an emission line consistent with the presence of oxygen
A new study led by a joint team at @NagoyaUniv and @prcnaoj_en has measured the cosmic age of a very distant galaxy. 🌌
The team used the ALMA radio telescope array to detect a radio signal that has been traveling for about 97% of the age of the Universe. pic.twitter.com/2zGBkZfh0Q
— Royal Astronomical Society (@RoyalAstroSoc) January 25, 2023
“It was a very exciting time to be an observational astronomer, and we were able to monitor the status of the observations that will test the JWST (James Webb) results in real time,” lead study author Tom Bakx of Nagoya University said in a statement. .
The presence of oxygen reveals much about distant galaxies, such as the fact that the stars that shone in the Universe were made of only helium and hydrogen. Nuclear processes in the centers of stars contributed to the formation of various other elements, which dispersed as they aged and expanded, and in some cases, exploded.
The distant galaxy would help in understanding its evolution
For scientists, understanding these first stars, the first galaxies, will be important in completing the current picture of galaxy evolution.
According to study co-author Jorge Zavala, from the Astronomical Observatory of Japan, “the brightness of the emission line indicates that this galaxy has rapidly enriched gas reserves with elements heavier than hydrogen and helium.” “This provides clues about the formation and evolution of the first generation of stars and their lifetimes,” he added.
The emission from stars may also indicate that primordial galaxies underwent “violent” explosions, which pushed gas from the galactic center into the region around the galaxy and beyond.