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'Shiny, sparkly object' in James Webb space image - BBC

'Shiny, sparkly object' in James Webb space image - BBC

'Shiny, sparkly object' in James Webb space image - BBC
Sep 30, 2022 1 min, 9 secs

The Biden Webb image should improve our understanding.

The Toronto team wondered at first whether the sparkles were even associated with the Sparkler Galaxy.

But it soon became obvious that they were associated because the Sparkler Galaxy itself is projected three times in the SMACS 0723 image.

And in each of the three versions of the Sparkler Galaxy, the same dots are present.

The team's contention is that the sparkles are globular clusters just like the globulars seen around our Milky Way today, except we're seeing these dots much, much earlier in the history of the Universe.

We see the Sparkler as it was nine billion years in the past, or about 4.5 billion years after the Big Bang.

"We are finding these globular clusters to be very massive," explained Dr Lamiya Mowla from Toronto's Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The team contends the stars in these globular sparkles probably formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

"Everyone is looking for those stars and when we first opened the SMACS image, we too were searching for the furthest stuff, the farthest things.

The Toronto research programme, called the CAnadian NIRISS Unbiased Cluster Survey (CANUCS), will now examine five more gravitationally lensed views from James Webb similar to its SMACS image.

The Toronto Sparkler research is published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.


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