The most exciting thing about science is when we find out we're wrong

The most exciting thing about science is when we find out we’re wrong

The room is very hot now. Uncrewed Artemis I mission It is on its way to lunar orbit, and is the first in a series of missions that plan to return humans to the moon by the end of the decade. Spacewalk inside The International Space Station crashed this week and it’s shattered They streamed live. they were Shit swings at asteroids To prove our ability. And our new friend, the James Webb Space Telescope, is doing its thing, quietly rethinking our entire understanding of how the universe works.

Flying a million miles from Earth, the JWST is sending back images that make Hubble look like a real piece of shit. Understandably, Webb images make headlines The ones that are mind blowing—Photos that are particularly beautiful or stunning and stunning. The web still stands many of those. But those artistic images are somehow a PR telescope to justify their existence to the general public. The actual science happens in the analysis of less exciting data: things that don’t even exist in the visible spectrum, or in the careful analysis of relatively unspectacular images. Yesterday’s big news comes from these action shots.

Science: NASA, European Space Agency, Canadian Space Agency, Tommaso Trio (University of California); Image processing: Zolt G. Levay (STScI)

I realize I risk undermining this, so: Naturally These photos are great, even if they aren’t pillars of creation. And what they show – that is, what is enlarged in Figure 2 in the lower center – is an absolute form that merges with the brain. It’s the galaxy GLASS-z12, and it’s believed to be 13.45 billion years old, or just 350 million years after the universe emerged in the Big Bang. It’s the farthest star we’ve ever seen.

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But it wasn’t just the existence of a galaxy that got scientists excited — we already knew there would be galaxies out there at the time, and we knew JWST’s superior imaging would reveal them. What was unexpected was how easy it was to find.

“Based on all the predictions, we thought we had to search a much wider region to find such galaxies,” Marco Castellano said from the National Institute of Astrophysics in Rome, who led a From two Research articles published thursday in Astrophysical Journal Letters. Scientists had a model, based on current understanding, of how many of these bright, fully formed galaxies would have existed in the early days of the universe. This model predicted that it would take an expanse of sky about 10 times larger than what Webb recorded to find it. Instead, scan the web quickly two These galaxies were discovered by scientists within days of the study’s data being published.

What this means is That our models were wrong, and that those bright, densely populated galaxies may have formed faster and more frequently after the end of the stellar Dark Ages–about 100 million years after the Big Bang, when conditions in the early universe finally allowed gravity to form building stars–than we imagined.

We were wrong! That’s very nice! You know we were wrong like the whole scientific point! Knowing that our models and predictions were inaccurate allows us to create new models to better explain the observations, bringing us closer to being right. Iterative science, and these small discoveries, rather than big, flashy pictures, are how JWST will help us write and rewrite the early history of our universe.

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“These notes will make your head explode.” Paola Santini said, co-author of Castellano et al. paper. “This is a whole new chapter in astronomy. It’s like an archaeological dig and all of a sudden you find a lost city or something you didn’t know about. It’s amazing.”

These two new galaxies make some interesting observations. and he Much brighter than we expected, and brighter than anything else closer to Earth. “Its extreme brightness is a real puzzle,” said Pascal Ochs, one of the authors of the second paper published today. But there is an attractive opportunity. It is believed that stars at the beginning of the universe consisted only of hydrogen and helium, simply because they did not have time to produce heavier elements through nuclear fusion. The so-called Population 3 stars are said to be incredibly hot and incredibly bright, and although it has been a theory for a long time, it has never been noticed. Maybe still.

This is literally hot shit. Thanks web.

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