January 5, 2023 | David F. Coppedge

JWST Finds Mature Galaxy in Young Universe

“We are dropping everything else” shouts an astrophysicist
upon first look at a mature barred spiral in the early universe.


“Early maturity” has been a running theme in our reporting, as astronomers continue to find mature-looking stars and galaxies farther away. It was supposed to take a billions of years for galaxies to evolve to mature spiral structures, but there they are, when the universe was just 25% of its assumed age, or younger. This new barred spiral seen by the James Webb Space Telescope is a beauty, but it will send theorists back to the drawing board.

James Webb Telescope Reveals Milky Way-like Galaxies in Young Universe (University of Texas, 5 Jan 2023).

New images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveal for the first time galaxies with stellar bars — elongated features of stars stretching from the centers of galaxies into their outer disks — at a time when the universe was a mere 25% of its present age. The finding of so-called barred galaxies, similar to our Milky Way, this early in the universe will require astrophysicists to refine their theories of galaxy evolution.

Prior to JWST, images from the Hubble Space Telescope had never detected bars at such young epochs. In a Hubble image, one galaxy, EGS-23205, is little more than a disk-shaped smudge, but in the corresponding JWST image taken this past summer, it’s a beautiful spiral galaxy with a clear stellar bar.

NASA/CEERS/University of Texas at Austin

The reaction of one astronomer is priceless.

“I took one look at these data, and I said, ‘We are dropping everything else!’” said Shardha Jogee, professor of astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin. “The bars hardly visible in Hubble data just popped out in the JWST image, showing the tremendous power of JWST to see the underlying structure in galaxies,” she said, describing data from the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science Survey (CEERS), led by UT Austin professor, Steven Finkelstein.

In textbook cosmology, structure evolves slowly over time.  This discovery adds to the longstanding “lumpiness problem” in big bang cosmology. The early universe looks lumpy with dense concentrations of matter and mature structures, rather than a thinly-distributed pea soup of matter expanding outward.

Nonsense about bars solving a “supply chain problem” in galaxies, delivering gas inward for more rapid star formation, can be ignored. Cosmologists first need to learn what they are talking about.

The discovery of bars during such early epochs shakes up galaxy evolution scenarios in several ways.

“This discovery of early bars means galaxy evolution models now have a new pathway via bars to accelerate the production of new stars at early epochs,” Jogee said.

And the very existence of these early bars challenges theoretical models as they need to get the galaxy physics right in order to predict the correct abundance of bars. The team will be testing different models in their next papers.

A simulation from a galaxy evolution model in the article shows that a bar in a spiral galaxy is one of the last things expected to form. The emotional reaction implies that after so many years looking at galaxies, big bang cosmologists still don’t have their physics right.

A preprint on arXiv of a paper to be published in the Astrophysical Journal by the UT astronomers states,

Our finding of bars at z ~1.1-2.3 demonstrates the early onset of such instabilities and supports simulations where bars form early in massive dynamically cold disks. It also suggests that if these bars at lookback times of 8-10 Gyr survive out to present epochs, bar-driven secular processes may operate over a long time and have a significant impact on some galaxies by z ~ 0.

Note: z is a measure of redshift, assumed to represent distance.

Materialist astronomers who think the universe came from nothing never worry about falsification, because their jobs are secure. Academia will never let them quote Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” To them, that’s “religious,” but saying that everything came from nothing for no reason is “scientific.”




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