They are only a few hundred million years younger than the universe.
Analyzing one of the early photographs taken with the James Webb telescope, the researchers found ancient clusters of stars. It is assumed that they were formed soon (by cosmic standards) after the appearance of the Universe itself.
The telescope initially photographed the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, located about 4.6 billion light-years from Earth. Against the background of this cluster, scientists noticed more distant galaxies – the very ancient clusters of stars.
According to scientists, the oldest galaxy found was formed more than 13 billion years ago, about 680 million years after the appearance of the universe. For comparison, the age of the Earth is estimated at about 4.5 billion years.
It is noteworthy that around the ancient clusters of stars, astronomers have found a kind of “germ” of new galaxies, showing the early stages of the formation of star systems.
By analyzing the new data, scientists hope to learn more about how new galaxies appear and develop. Previously, the researchers note, it was impossible to look so far into space.
This is interesting
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