As part of the so-called Cosmic Evolution Early Emission Science Survey (CEERS), researchers examined a series of near-infrared images from Webb, covering a large area of the sky. There they chose galaxies that existed when the universe was estimated to be 600 million to 6 billion years old.
“Flying balls”, or spherical galaxies, appear to be the densest and least seen type. It turns out that the “flying saucer” is about the same size as a distant surfboard and swimming pasta-shaped galaxies, but is more common in the nearby universe.
Land for surfing
What category would our Milky Way Galaxy fall into if we could turn back the clock billions of years? According to team member Hawen Zhang, a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona in Tucson (USA), it will be more like a surfboard.
Distant galaxies have much less mass than nearby spiral and elliptical galaxies. They are the precursors of massive galaxies like our own Milky Way. This is because galaxies in the early universe had much less time to grow.
Previously, the Hubble Space Telescope showed an excess of tall galaxies in the early universe. But the researchers wondered whether more detail would be seen in infrared. Webb has now shown that Hubble did not miss any noticeable features in the galaxies they both observed. Webb was able to discover many distant galaxies with similar shapes.
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