Webb image of MACS0647 provides unprecedented details on early universe

Light from the farther-off MACS0647-JD system is bent and magnified by the tremendous gravity of galaxy cluster MACS0647, which functions as a cosmic lens. Additionally, the JD system's image was triple-lensed, appearing in three different places. JD1, JD2, and JD3 are the photographs that are highlighted with white boxes; zoomed-in views are displayed in the panels to the right. Blue was attributed to wavelengths of 1.15 and 1.5 microns (F115W, F150W), green to wavelengths of 2.0 and 2.77 microns (F200W, F277W), and red to wavelengths of 3.65 and 4.44 microns in this image from Webb's Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam) instrument (F365W, F444W).

Credits: SCIENCE: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, and Tiger Hsiao (Johns Hopkins University) IMAGE PROCESSING: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

October 26, 2022

Astronomers can now see a glimpse of the early universe thanks to NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which was created specifically to detect the dim infrared light from extremely distant galaxies. It is not generally known or understood what galaxies were like at this formative stage of our cosmos. However, weak background galaxies can be made more visible and appear several times in various regions of the image thanks to gravitational lensing caused by a group of galaxies in the foreground.

The cluster MACS0647 is 5.6 billion light-years away (1.7 billion parsecs, or z = 0.591) away. About 13.3 billion light-years (4 billion parsecs) or redshift z = 11 separate it from the lensed source.

JD stands for J-band dropout, - neither the so-called J-band (F125W) nor 14 bluer Hubble filters were able to see the galaxy. Only the two reddest filters showed it (F140W and F160W). It has around a billion stars and is less than 600 light-years across.

Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH), which employs enormous galaxy clusters as cosmic telescopes to magnify distant galaxies behind them, a phenomena known as gravitational lensing, helped to discover the galaxy. With assistance from Spitzer Space Telescope, observations were captured by the Wide Field Camera 3 on the Hubble Space Telescope.

Source - NASA