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James Webb Reveals

26 February 2024
Astronomy, cosmology

At https://www.livescience.com/space/cosmology/james-webb-telescope-finds-ancient-galaxy-larger-than-our-milky-way-and-its-threatening-to-upend-cosmology … consensus is that the first galaxies formed around giant haloes of dark matter. However, this is probably a quite recent consensus as the presence of dark matter, although a popular addition to the cosmological mix, was not until recently in general acceptance. I would have thought. Never the less, this is what we are told at the link. In contrast, the James Webb Space Telescope would beg to differ as it has discovered a galaxy dating to around 13 billion years ago – which is thought to be just half a billion years from Big Bang. James Webb has yet to see evidence of Big Bang, mind. Anyway, we are told a big galaxy should not be that early – and this galaxy is massive. It also exists and cannot be denied. It therefore poses a challenge to what they call the standard model of cosmology, according to the study authors. As the standard model appears to change with the wind one expects this is a non-problem for cosmologists. Take note of the word model.

This is of course not the only problematic galaxy found in what is thought to be the very early universe. James Webb has been revealing in many ways. However, in this instance the authors go on to say, putting it into cosmological rather than astronomical perspective, having massive galaxies so early in the universe is posing challenges. This is because massive dark matter structures, which are thought to be necessary components for holding early galaxies together, did not have enough time to form that early in the universe. Seems to be a non problem as dark matter is a subjective idea. We may thus wonder what exactly is the challenge. Was it the idea of dark matter playing a role rather than the existence of large galaxies 13 billion years ago?

At https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2024/02/240220144356.htm … a few years ago astronomers uncovered an enormous wave shaped chain of gaseous clouds in the Milky Way – giving birth to clusters of stars along the spiral arm. They gave it the name, the Radcliffe Wave, after a Harvard institute. Now, they have discovered it not only looks like a wave but moves like a wave – oscillating through space time.

At https://www.livescience.com/space/astronomers-find-monster-black-hole-devouring-a-suns-worth-of-matter-every-day ….. a distant quasar that was initially mistaken for a star is actually the brightest growing black hole – ever seen. What will it be next time? The object is said to date back 12 billion years ago – not too long after Big Bang [13 and a half billion years ago]. Black holes are made when giant stars collapse in on themselvcs – and they grow by devouring matter that ventures too close. Presumably this black hole is bright because it is feasting on lots of gas and dust and even more substantial matter that comes within its range.

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