Science discovery analysis, Astronomy news and Space Mission Exploration.

The Webb telescope has identified the earliest strand of the cosmic web.

This deep galaxy field imaged by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera shows an arrangement of 10 distant galaxies in a diagonal, thread-like line. Two of the eight white circles contain more than one galaxy. This 3 million light-year-long filament is anchored by a very distant and luminous quasar known as J0305-3150, which can be seen in the middle of the cluster of three circles on the right side. Its brightness outshines its host galaxy. These 10 galaxies existed just 830 million years after the big bang, and astronomers believe they will eventually evolve into a massive cluster of galaxies.

Galaxies are not scattered randomly throughout the universe, but instead form clusters and a vast interconnected web of filamentary structures that span vast regions of space. These structures are composed of threads of galaxies held together by gravity, with huge voids existing in between. This cosmic web developed over time as more matter was drawn together by gravity. Recently, astronomers have discovered a 3 million light-year-long filament anchored by a luminous quasar.They believe that this structure will eventually evolve into a massive cluster of galaxies, similar to the Coma Cluster in the nearby universe.This discovery is an important piece of evidence when it comes to understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies in the universe.

The ASPIRE project (A SPectroscopic survey of biased halos In the Reionization Era) made a shocking discovery while studying the cosmic environments of the earliest black holes, finding a “long, distinctly thin” filamentary structure associated with a distant quasar. Xiaohui Fan from University of Arizona in Tucson was surprised by the length and narrowness of the filament, while Feige Wang, the principal investigator of the project expressed that this is one of the earliest filamentary structures that have been found from this epoch. The program will observe 25 quasars located within the first billion years after the big bang, a time known as the Epoch of Reionization, to better understand this structure and its implications.

Taken by Webb’s NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) for the ASPIRE program, this Compass image shows a deep galaxy region.This region includes a quasar named J0305-3150, whose luminosity exceeds that of its host galaxy. At the bottom right of the image are compass arrows, indicating the orientation of the image on the sky. Below the image is a color key showing which NIRCam filters were used to create the image and which visible-light color is assigned to each filter.

Did black holes exist less than a billion years after the big bang? A new study by investigated properties of eight quasars in the young universe and confirmed that their central black holes had a mass ranging from 600 million to 2 billion times the mass of the Sun, existing less than a billion years after the Big Bang. This raises questions as to how these black holes could have grown so large so quickly. To answer this, Wang explained that two criteria must be satisfied: Firstly, there must be a massive ‘seed’ black hole to start growing from, and secondly, it must accrete a million times more matter at the maximum possible rate for its entire lifetime.

Webb’s research has provided the best evidence yet of how early supermassive black holes potentially regulate the formation of stars in their galaxies. While these black holes are known to accrete matter, they can also power tremendous outflows of material which can extend far beyond the black hole itself on a galactic scale, thus significantly impacting the formation of stars. This has been observed in the nearby universe, but has never been directly observed in the Epoch of Reionization until now. As Yang explains, The scale of the wind is related to the structure of the quasar. In the Webb observations, we are seeing that such winds existed in the early universe.

The Webb telescope has identified the earliest strand of the cosmic web.

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