Never-before-seen details of the early universe from the Webb Space Telescope

Never-before-seen details of the early universe from the Webb Space Telescope

The massive gravity of the MACS0647 galaxy cluster acts as a cosmic lens to bend and amplify light from the more distant MACS0647-JD system. He also tripled the JD system, causing his image to appear in three separate locations. These images, which are highlighted with white boxes, are labeled JD1, JD2 and JD3; magnified views are shown in the panels to the right. In this image from Webb’s Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument, blue has been assigned to the 1.15 and 1.5 micron wavelengths (F115W, F150W), green to the 2.0 and 2.77 microns (F200W, F277W) and red at wavelengths of 3.65 and 4.44 microns (F365W, F444W). Download the full resolution version from the Space Telescope Science Institute. Credit: Science: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI and Tiger Hsiao (Johns Hopkins University) Image processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

Dan Coe: I discovered this galaxy MACS0647-JD 10 years ago with the

Dan Coe: Due to the gravitational lensing of the massive galaxy cluster MACS0647, it’s lensed into three images: JD1, JD2, and JD3. They’re magnified by factors of eight, five, and two, respectively.

Rebecca Larson: Up to this point, we haven’t really been able to study galaxies in the early universe in great detail. We had only tens of them prior to Webb. Studying them can help us understand how they evolved into the ones like the galaxy we live in today. And also, how the universe evolved throughout time.

I think my favorite part is, for so many new Webb image we get, if you look in the background, there are all these little dots—and those are all galaxies! Every single one of them. It’s amazing the amount of information that we’re getting that we just weren’t able to see before. And this is not a deep field. This is not a long exposure. We haven’t even really tried to use this telescope to look at one spot for a long time. This is just the beginning!

Webb and Hubble Comparison of MACS 0647

This is a comparison between the Hubble Space Telescope images of MACS0647-JD from 2012 (filter information on Hubblesite.org) and the 2022 images from the James Webb Space Telescope (using the same color assignments as the image above). Note that MACS0647-JD appears as a faint, red dot in the Hubble image, but Webb reveals much more detail. Download the full-resolution version from the Space Telescope Science Institute. Credit: Science: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, and Tiger Hsiao (Johns Hopkins University) Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

About the authors:

Dan Coe is an astronomer of AURA/STScI for the European Space Agency and the Johns Hopkins University. Tiger Hsiao is a Ph.D. graduate student at the Johns Hopkins University. Rebecca Larson is a National Science Foundation fellow and Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. These NIRCam observations of MAC0647-JD are part of the team’s Cycle 1 program GO 1433 (PI Coe). The team is planning more a detailed study of the physical properties of MACS0647-JD with Webb spectroscopy in January 2023.

Reference: “JWST reveals a possible z∼11 galaxy merger in triply-lensed MACS0647−JD” by Tiger Yu-Yang Hsiao, Dan Coe, Abdurro’uf, Lily Whitler, Intae Jung, Gourav Khullar, Ashish Kumar Meena, Pratika Dayal, Kirk S. S. Barrow, Lillian Santos-Olmsted, Adam Casselman, Eros Vanzella, Mario Nonino, Yolanda Jimenez-Teja, Masamune Oguri, Daniel P. Stark, Lukas J. Furtak, Adi Zitrin, Angela Adamo, Gabriel Brammer, Larry Bradley, Jose M. Diego, Erik Zackrisson, Steven L. Finkelstein, Rogier A. Windhorst, Rachana Bhatawdekar, Taylor A. Hutchison, Tom Broadhurst, Paola Dimauro, Felipe Andrade-Santos, Jan J. Eldridge, Ana Acebron, Roberto J. Avila, Matthew B. Bayliss, Alex Benitez, Christian Binggeli, Patricia Bolan, Marusa Bradac, Adam C. Carnall, Christopher J. Conselice, Megan Donahue, Brenda Frye, Seiji Fujimoto, Alaina Henry, Bethan L. James, Susan Kassin, Lisa Kewley, Rebecca L. Larson, Tod Lauer, David Law, Guillaume Mahler, Ramesh Mainali, Stephan McCandliss, David Nicholls, Norbert Pirzkal, Marc Postman, Jane R. Rigby, Russell Ryan, Peter Senchyna, Keren Sharon, Ikko Shimizu, Victoria Strait, Mengtao Tang, Michele Trenti, Anton Vikaeus and Brian Welch, 25 October 2022, Astrophysics > Astrophysics of Galaxies.
arXiv:2210.14123


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