The James-Webb Space Telescope first took a look at them about a year ago. And astronomers are now convinced. The Massey Galaxy is one of the oldest galaxies ever observed.
His nickname was Messi. From the maiden name of the daughter of the astronomer who extracted it from data from the James–Webb Space Telescope. A galaxy that researchers immediately hypothesized was one of the oldest galaxies ever discovered. This was exactly one year back. And today astronomers from the University of Texas (USA) confirm this. The Massey Galaxy dates back 390 million years after the Big Bang. This is slightly higher than their original estimate. But it still puts it in the top four of the oldest galaxies known to scientists.
The age of the Massey galaxy was originally determined by the Sears survey team – for Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science – Based on photometric data. This time, tracking data recorded using the James Webb Space Telescope’s NIRSpec spectroscopic instrument was used to pinpoint its redshift—which increases with the distance that separates us from the observed objects. This is 11.4.
On the other hand, this second galaxy is much less ancient
On the other hand, these actions have ruled out another candidate for the title. “The Oldest Galaxy” from the list. Astronomers actually initially predicted that what they named Sears-93316 could be observed only 250 million years after the Big Bang. Mistake. Its redshift is only 4.9, far from the hypothesized 16.7. Which corresponds to about one billion years after the Big Bang.
Astronomers say they expect older galaxies to appear very blue. And so was Sears-93316. But in fact it appeared falsely blue. A peculiarity of the photometric method for objects with a redshift of about 4.9. And finally, luckily. Because that galaxy looked too bright for researchers to explain how it could have formed so early in the history of our universe.