Webb Makes First Look at Star Clusters in an Infant Galaxy

Astronomers used the James Webb Space Telescope to discover five young, massive star clusters in a distant galaxy known as the Cosmic Gems arc. This marks the first time star clusters have been observed in a galaxy so early in the universe's history, just 460 million years after the Big Bang.

The discovery is significant because it provides new insights into how galaxies formed and evolved in their early stages. The massive star clusters in the Cosmic Gems arc are thought to be the precursors to globular clusters, which are densely packed collections of stars found in many galaxies today.

The Webb telescope's infrared capabilities allowed astronomers to peer through the dust and gas that obscure the view of these young star clusters. This discovery is helping scientists to better understand the process of star formation in the early universe.


SPT0615-JD1, also known as the Cosmic Gems arc, is a distant dwarf galaxy located in the constellation Pictor. It holds the record for the farthest galaxy ever imaged by means of gravitational lensing. This means that the light from the galaxy has been magnified and distorted by the gravity of a massive foreground galaxy cluster, allowing us to see it with our telescopes.

Recent observations by the James Webb Space Telescope revealed five young, massive star clusters within SPT0615-JD1. These star clusters are believed to have formed when the universe was only about 460 million years old, providing valuable insights into the early stages of galaxy formation.

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