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The Most Exciting Thing In Science Is When We Find Out We Were Wrong - Defector

The Most Exciting Thing In Science Is When We Find Out We Were Wrong - Defector

The Most Exciting Thing In Science Is When We Find Out We Were Wrong - Defector
Nov 18, 2022 1 min, 12 secs

And our new friend the James Webb Space Telescope is just doing its thing, quietly overhauling our entire understanding of how the universe works.

The JWST is floating a million miles from Earth and sending back images that make the Hubble look like a real piece of shit.

It is galaxy GLASS-z12, and it is believed to be 13.45 billion years old, or just 350 million years after the universe was created in the Big Bang.

Scientists had a model, based on current understandings, for how many of these bright, fully formed galaxies in the very early days of the universe would be out there.

Instead, Webb quickly surveyed two such galaxies, which scientists discovered within just a few days after the data was released for study.

What this implies is that our models were wrong, and that bright, populous galaxies might have formed faster and more frequently after the end of the stellar dark ages—about 100 million years after the Big Bang, when the conditions in the early universe finally allowed gravity to start building stars—than we had ever imagined.

Science is iterative, and these small discoveries, rather than the big splashy images, are how the JWST will help us write and rewrite the early history of our universe.

It’s hypothesized that in the very early universe, stars would have been composed of only hydrogen and helium, simply because they had not yet had time to produce heavier elements by nuclear fusion.


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