The stunning image of the deep-infrared universe captured by the James Webb Space Telescope has revealed 42 new lens images of galaxies and revealed an unprecedented depth of the shape of the lens, which may eventually help us see the first galaxies.
revealing of James Webb Space Telescope Deep picture of US President Joe Biden in a special presentation White House event Who was detained on July 11, was a closely guarded secret. Teams of astronomers raced to be the first to analyze it, with three new research papers posted to the community’s preprint server within a week of the image’s release.
“We got kind of upset, to be honest!” Brenda Fry, an astronomer at the Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona and co-author of one of the papers, told Space.com. “Usually we have a year or two advance warning, but no one has seen it [this release] Coming at this time.”
The galaxy The SMACS J0723.3-7327 cluster, known for short as SMACS J0723, is among a group of galaxy clusters imaged by Webb for various gravitational lensing surveys. On top of that, Frye said, there’s been nothing exceptional about SMACS J0723 – until now.
Beautifully chosen [to be one of the first images] Because it was a relatively unknown target.”
gravity lens A phenomenon in which the gravity of a very massive object causes space to bend into a shape similar to an optical lens, distorting light from whatever is behind the lens and amplifying it in brightness. Galactic clusters are particularly effective lenses because they contain an enormous amount of mass (in the case of SMACS J0723, about 100 trillion times the mass of the Sun) in a relatively compact volume with a diameter of about 3 to 5 million light-years across.
Previous polls conducted by Hubble Space Telescope and retired Herschel Space Observatory They found a few lenticular images of background galaxies in their SMACS J0723 observation. But Webb is taking research to a whole new level.
The Frye team, led by graduate student Massimo Pascal at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered 42 new lens images in the background of the new deep-field image. Gravitational lenses can create multiple images of the same galaxy, so these 42 images represent 19 individual galaxies. Another team led by Gabriel Caminha of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany counted 27 images with a new lens.
Whatever the end result, these lenticular images allow scientists to fine-tune the map of how matter is visible and visible dark – Distributed in the SMACS J0723 series, thus designing the shape of the lens. One of the new research papers, from a team led by Guillaume Mahler of Durham University, concludes that most of the mass is concentrated in the brightest and most massive galaxy in the cluster.
“Not only do our models describe mass, but we can also use them to describe the magnification of these lenticular images,” Pascal told Space.com.
Currently the most distant confirmed galaxy is a distant object known as GN-z11which has a redshift of 11.09, which means that we see it as it was 13.4 billion years ago, that is, only 400 million years after the great explosion. (“Redshift” refers to the wavelength stretching of light that occurs when the universe is stretched between a distant object and the viewer. The higher the redshift factor, the more distant the light source.)
The most distant candidate is HD1, which was detected at a redshift of 13, appears to us as it did just 300 million years after the Big Bang. and recently, Early results from Web It identified another redshift 13 candidate galaxy, called GLASS-z11. However, astronomers have not confirmed the redshift of either HD1 or GLASS-z11.
Webb is expected to break both of these redshift records, although it has yet to be determined if any of the lensed galaxies seen in SMACS J0723 are further from Gn-z11 or HD1. Pascal and Frey are interested in mapping a phenomenon called the “critical curve”, because it is along these curves that the gravitational lens uses the greatest magnifying force, and where astronomers have the best chance of seeing The first galaxies.
“The typical magnification in the lens cluster is close to 10 times, which is not enough to see the first galaxies,” Frey said. “But if we look near the critical curve, that’s where things get magnified hundreds or even thousands of times.”
Think of a critical curve as like the contour lines on a topographic map of a surface a land. The more these contour lines are grouped together, the higher any given spot on the surface will rise. Similarly, the critical curve is where the contour lines of gravitational potentials converge, and the more of them there are, the greater the strength of that potential and the attendant magnification. The location and shape of images with a lens can give an indication of where the critical curve is.
“Ultimately, what we want to do is look directly along the critical curve where the magnification is higher, and that’s where we’re going to find the highest redshifted galaxies,” Frey said.
It is for this reason that Webb’s initial trio of new papers on deep field focus on modeling the amount and distribution of matter in the fore mass, and thus the shape of the lens and the location of the critical curve.
However, modeling can also tell us about the history of the galactic cluster.
“We found the overall distribution to be a little longer than expected,” Pascal said. “Maybe that says something about Cluster merging historyand we can extrapolate from that and learn something about the formation of the block as a whole, which happens in a very chaotic environment where gravity From all these galaxies pull each other.”
The immediate next step for Pascal, Frey’s team and the other two authors of the papers is to follow the peer-review process to see these findings published in scientific journals. Moreover, data from NIRISS (Near Infrared Imager and Slit Spectrophotometer) is waiting to be analyzed and should help scientists determine the spectral redshift of lenticular galaxies and see how far away they are. (The deep field image was captured by NIRCam, the near-infrared camera.)
“Before Webb filmed him, SMACS J0723 was not the star of the show,” Pascal said. “Now, all of a sudden, there’s sheet after sheet on it, which really speaks to how powerful the Webb Web is, to reveal things we couldn’t see before.”
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