(Image: Pillars of Creation viewed through the James Webb Space Telescope’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) (October 28)
A research article published by Penn State University, entitled “Discovery of massive early galaxies defies prior understanding of the universe,” describes ongoing turmoil in the scientific community over recent discoveries.
Data from NASA's James Webb Space Telescope continue to turn modern theories about the origin of the universe on their heads. Essentially, the telescope allows scientists to see back in time to near the beginning of the universe as we know it. Now, an international team of scientists has discovered objects as mature as the Milky Way when the universe was only 3% of its current age.
“It turns out we found something so unexpected it actually creates problems for science. It calls the whole picture of early galaxy formation into question.”
The universe is much more massive than previously assumed.
Massive galaxies discovered in the early universe are upending what scientists understood about the origins of galaxies. “We expected only to find tiny, young, baby galaxies at this point in time, but we’ve discovered galaxies as mature as our own in what was previously understood to be the dawn of the universe,” said Joel Leja, assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State.
“The amount of mass discovered means that the known mass in stars at this period of our universe is up to 100 times greater than we had previously thought,” Leja said. “Accounting for such a high amount of mass would require either altering the models for cosmology or revising the scientific understanding of galaxy formation in the early universe (that galaxies started as small clouds of stars and dust that gradually grew larger over time). Either scenario requires a fundamental shift in our understanding of how the universe came to be,” he added.
“We’ve been informally calling these objects ‘universe breakers’ — and they have been living up to their name so far.” “The revelation that massive galaxy formation began extremely early in the history of the universe upends what many of us had thought was settled science,” said Leja.
“What’s funny is we have all these things we hope to learn from James Webb and this was nowhere near the top of the list. We’ve found something we never thought to ask.”
Isaiah knew it...
The prophet Isaiah wrote about the imponderable scale of Creation when he described God’s incredible majesty and power.
(v12) Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
(v18) To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
(v21) Have you not known? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
(v22) It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
(v25) To whom then will you compare me,
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
(v26) Lift up your eyes on high and see:
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.
(v28) Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
“Where are the scales that can weigh the Lord? …He weighs the mountains in scales -in what scales shall we weigh him? Be it so, if your understanding cannot comprehend, let your affections apprehend; and if your spirit cannot compass the Lord Jesus in the grasp of understanding, let it embrace him in the arms of affection.” C.H. Spurgeon