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Team shares findings from James Webb Space Telescope images

Dr. Steven Finkelstein from UT Austin is a principal investigator for CEERS.

AUSTIN, Texas — A team working the with Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science (CEERS) Survey associated with the James Webb Telescope believes they have found an object that is one of the most distant galaxies.

Dr. Steven Finkelstein is an associate professor of Astronomy at University of Texas at Austin and the principal investigator for CEERS. He works with researchers around the country studying early science.

Over the last few weeks, they have been breaking down nearly 700 images from the James Webb Space Telescope using a special computer.

“Analyzing it, making beautiful pictures, like the one that you can see here, and trying to find distant galaxies," said Finkelstein.

And they did find some.

"Here we're looking at a spiral galaxy, and the exciting thing about this is, compared to the Hubble images of this galaxy, you can see all of these tiny little dots in that galaxy – those are individual star clusters,” he said.

One of the most interesting things they found was a red object.

"We know it's a galaxy, and we know it's a galaxy from the very distant universe. We are, I want to say, almost extremely sure that it's more distant than anything we have seen with Hubble. So, extremely, extremely early in the history of the universe," said Finkelstein.

Finkelstein said they have deemed this "Maisie's Galaxy," named after his 9-year-old daughter.

"After a brief discussion, my daughter wanted me to name a galaxy after her, and I kind of suggested it as a joke, and a lot of people were on board. It is really great to share this with her," he said.

Finkelstein said the team is excited to continue to comb through the data from the Webb telescope and what it can bring to the astronomy community.


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