From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope Via “EarthSky” : “UFOs – Ultra-red Flattened Objects – revealed by Webb” 

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National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Infrared Space Telescope annotated, finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late.

From The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope

Via

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“EarthSky”

8.8.22
Kelly Kizer Whitt

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See one of the red UFOs – Ultra-red Flattened Objects – that appears in the Webb image (right), but not the Hubble image (left)? Webb is finding galaxies that Hubble missed. Image via Erica Nelson, et al.

UFOs in Webb’s range

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). It can see farther away in space, and so farther back in time. In operation only since this summer, it’s already discovering things Hubble couldn’t see, including some massive, deep-red, disk-shaped galaxies. Astronomers call them HST-dark galaxies. In a paper published on arXiv [below] on August 2, 2022 (but not yet peer-reviewed), a team of scientists are also calling these galaxies Ultra-red Flattened Objects, or UFOs.

And – to Webb’s “eye” at least – they do have the classic, sci-fi look of a flying saucer!

Deep-red galaxies not visible to Hubble

These deep-red, disk-shaped galaxies have a redshift (or z) between 2 and 6. That value means we’re seeing them as they were in the universe 10.3 to 12.7 billion years ago. So they’re definitely not our next-door neighbors. But they are within the range of what Hubble could image, if it could see their red light.

Webb can see these “HST-dark” galaxies because it observes in infrared light, which is the part of the spectrum where these galaxies shine. The team that published the new study, led by Erica Nelson of the University of Colorado, Boulder, found 29 of these HST-dark galaxies. The galaxies have a significant amount of dust, which makes their light redder and hides them from Hubble’s vision. But Webb’s infrared sensors can see through that dust, making the UFOs pop into view.

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The full sample. Credit: Erica Nelson, Wren Suess, Rachel Bezanson, Sedona Price, @gbrammer and their co-authors.

Webb’s galactic discoveries

Compare the UFOs to the record-breaking distant galaxies that Webb has spied, which have redshifts of 11-20. That would be when the universe was between 400 million and 150 million years old. The UFOs, with a redshift of 2-6, existed when the universe was between 3 1/2 and 1 billion years old (out of its current 13.7 billion years of age). So these galaxies aren’t real close to us in time, but they are still closer than the record-breaking discoveries.

UFOs at “cosmic noon”

The astronomers refer to the time period that UFOs thrived as “cosmic noon”. The early ages of the universe when galaxies began to grow was the cosmic dawn. Then cosmic noon arrived, about 3 billion years after the Big Bang. Astronomers think most of the universe’s stars and black holes formed around the time of cosmic noon. And now astronomers say that these UFOs, or dusty star-forming galaxies undergoing extreme starbursts, dominate the total star formation rate budget of the universe during cosmic noon. So, as the paper said, since we have not yet been able to study what we could not see:

” … we do not yet fully understand the growth of the most massive galaxies at cosmic noon.”

From flattened to bulging

The scientists also said that these massive, dusty UFOs may be the progenitors of today’s large elliptical galaxies. They’re surprised by this finding, because astronomers believed that the bulging elliptical galaxies we see now would have already had that bulging shape at an early age. But as the paper said:

“Perhaps the most noteworthy result stems from the flattened shapes of these HST-dark galaxies. These massive, star-forming galaxies are the likely progenitors of today’s massive galaxies, which tend to be bulge/spheroid-dominated … The expectation may have been that the stellar bodies of these objects would already host significant bulges. This, however, is not what we observe in this sample.”

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Messier 87 is a large elliptical galaxy famous for the black hole at its center.

The Hubble Space Telescope took this image in 2009. Messier 87 lies about 55 million light-years away. It may have begun life as a UFO, or Ultra-red Flattened Object. Image via Wikipedia.

Webb is expanding our knowledge

The discovery of these UFOs is helping astronomers get a better picture of the universe at a more recent age. As the paper noted:

“The stellar masses, sizes, and morphologies of the sample suggest that some could be progenitors of lenticular or fast-rotating galaxies in the local Universe. The existence of this population suggests that our previous censuses of the universe may have missed massive, dusty edge-on disks, in addition to dust-obscured starbursts.”

The paper concluded:

“This sample highlights the fact that the JWST discovery extends studies of galaxy stellar structures to later cosmic epochs during which we thought we had a reasonable census of the universe already.”

Science paper:
arXiv

See the full article here .

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The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope is a large infrared telescope with a 6.5-meter primary mirror. Webb was finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late. The James Webb Space Telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it.

Webb telescope will be the premier observatory of the next decade, serving thousands of astronomers worldwide. It will study every phase in the history of our Universe, ranging from the first luminous glows after the Big Bang, to the formation of solar systems capable of supporting life on planets like Earth, to the evolution of our own Solar System.

Webb telescope was formerly known as the “Next Generation Space Telescope” (NGST); it was renamed in Sept. 2002 after a former NASA administrator, James Webb.

Webb is an international collaboration between National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center managed the development effort. The main industrial partner is Northrop Grumman; the Space Telescope Science Institute will operate Webb after launch.

Several innovative technologies have been developed for Webb. These include a folding, segmented primary mirror, adjusted to shape after launch; ultra-lightweight beryllium optics; detectors able to record extremely weak signals, microshutters that enable programmable object selection for the spectrograph; and a cryocooler for cooling the mid-IR detectors to 7K.

There are four science instruments on Webb: The Near InfraRed Camera (NIRCam), The Near InfraRed Spectrograph (NIRspec), The Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI), and The Fine Guidance Sensor/ Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (FGS-NIRISS). Webb’s instruments are designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range. It will be sensitive to light from 0.6 to 28 micrometers in wavelength.
National Aeronautics Space Agency Webb NIRCam.

The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) Webb MIRI schematic.

Webb Fine Guidance Sensor-Near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph FGS/NIRISS.

Webb has four main science themes: The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization, The Assembly of Galaxies, The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems, and Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life.

Launch was December 25, 2021 on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch was from Arianespace’s ELA-3 launch complex at European Spaceport located near Kourou, French Guiana. Webb is located at the second Lagrange point, about a million miles from the Earth.

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