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JWST Is Currently Looking At the Chemical Composition Of Ancient Galaxies


JWST has been working on an intriguing sequence of observations as part of the CECILIA project since yesterday and will continue to do so until tomorrow. It is examining certain old galaxies to learn more about their chemistry. Gaining knowledge about galaxy evolution at one of the universe's most exciting periods is the aim.


These galaxies' light originates from a time when the cosmos was just around three billion years old. That was an extremely busy epoch in the universe, when the majority of stars originated. The trip these islands of stars made to become what they are now may be determined by understanding the atoms and molecules that are being created and utilized in these far-off galaxies.

"We believe the chemistry of these early galaxies is very, very different from that of our Milky Way and the galaxies that are in our immediate vicinity today. And with CECILIA, we will be able to determine just how different they actually are, according to a statement from the project's co-lead, Dr. Gwen Rudie of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

The initiative has the name of Professor Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, an American astronomer who was the first to determine the elements that make up the Sun and all other stars 100 years ago. She received unfair criticism for her extremely accurate conclusions, but in the end, she was right. She was the first woman to lead a department at Harvard University when she was appointed chair of the department of astronomy. Astronomer Helen Sawyer Hogg, an American-Canadian, campaigner for LGBT rights Frank Kameny, and astronomer Frank Drake, of the Drake Equation, were among her pupils.

After the release of the first JWST scientific images two weeks ago, a flurry of discoveries and analyses that weren't possible with any other instrument occurred, including the potential observation of the most distant galaxy and the discovery of previously unseen emissions from close to a supermassive black hole.


The preliminary pictures suggest that our project will probably surprise us. The beginning of a new age in astronomy excites us, Dr. Rudie continued.


JWST will be quite busy because it is the newest telescope in town. Five other projects that have reserved time with the space observatory are being led by experts from Carnegie.


The team also wishes to commemorate NASA's controversial decision to keep the telescope's name when it became known that James Webb had contributed to discriminatory practices towards LGBTQ personnel.

Dr. Johanna Teske remarked, "After viewing the first JWST photos and spectra, I feel profound amazement, giddy joy, and immense appreciation for the many people who contributed to the scientific and technological advances that this telescope delivers. Yet regret and rage that the name of this telescope does not stand for an inclusive, open future for astronomy tragically overshadow my happy feelings.

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