The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was designed to probe the mysteries of the Universe, not the least of which is what the first galaxies looked like. These galaxies formed during the Epoch of Reionization (aka. “Cosmic Dawn”), which lasted from about 100 to 500 million years after the Big Bang. By observing these galaxies and comparing them to ones that see closer to our own today, astronomers hope to test the laws of physics on the grandest of scales and what role (if any) Dark Matter and Dark Energy have played.
Unfortunately, early into its campaign, the JWST detected galaxies from this period so massive that they were inconsistent with our understanding of how the Universe formed. The most widely-accepted theory for how this all fits together is known as the Lambda Cold Dark Matter (LCDM) cosmological model, which best describes the structure and evolution of the Universe. According to the latest results from the Cosmic Dawn Center, these galaxies may be even more massive than previously thought, further challenging our understanding of the cosmos.
This week’s guest is Dr. Claudia Lagos (@CDPLagos).
Claudia is the Research Assistant at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, in the University of Western Australia. Dr. Lagos is one of the core researchers for the Cosmic Dawn Centre (DAWN). Her expertise is in modelling of physical processes in galaxies, such as gas accretion onto galaxies, star formation, stellar feedback, gas accretion onto black holes, among other similar mechanisms.
Their stories this week:
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