The James Webb Space Telescope now has the top 8 positions for distant objects

The James Webb Space Telescope now has the top 8 positions for distant objects

One year ago, in 2022, Hubble still held the cosmic distance record.

The most distant

A section of the GOODS-N field, containing galaxy GN-z11, the most distant galaxy ever observed. Originally, the Hubble data indicated a redshift of 11.1, a distance of 32.1 billion light-years, and an inferred age of the universe of 407 million light-years at the time of the emission of this light. Thanks to better James Webb Space Telescope data, we know that this galaxy is a little closer: at a redshift of 10.60, which is equivalent to the universe being 433 million years old.

Image source: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI), A. Feild (STScI), P. Oesch (Yale)

Discovered in 2015, Galaxy GN-z11 was photographed in depth field.

JWST Hubble XDF

Over the course of 50 days, totaling more than 2 million seconds of total observing time (equivalent to 23 full days), the Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF) was created from a portion of a previous Hubble Extreme Deep Field image. By combining light from the ultraviolet through visible light and out into the near-infrared limits at Hubble, XDF represents humanity’s deepest view of the universe: a record that stood until it was broken by the James Webb Space Telescope. In the red box, where Hubble sees no galaxies, JWST’s JADES survey has revealed the most distant galaxy yet: JADES-GS-z13-0. By extrapolating beyond what we see and what we know and expect to exist, we infer a total of about 2 sextillion stars within the observable universe.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (Leiden University), and the HUDF09 team; Annotations and stitching by E. Siegel

Its light arrived 13.4 billion years ago, when the universe was only 3% of its current age.

James Webb Hubble

Only because the distant galaxy observed by Hubble, GN-z11, is located in a region where the intergalactic medium is mostly reionized, was Hubble able to reveal it to us at present. Other galaxies that lie at the same distance but are not along a coincidentally larger-than-average line of sight with respect to reionization can only be detected at longer wavelengths, and by observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope. At present, GN-z11 is the ninth most distant galaxy known, with all the others discovered by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Image source: NASA, ESA, P. Oesch and B. Robertson (University of California, Santa Cruz), and A. Feild(STScI)

Its bright, massive nature along an unusually transparent line of sight enabled Hubble to see it.

JADES Very Distant Galaxy Filters

Before the James Webb Space Telescope, there were about 40 very distant galaxy candidates, primarily from Hubble observations. Early JWST results revealed many very distant candidate galaxies, but now 717 of them have been found in JADES’s field of view of just 125 square minutes. The entire night sky is a million times larger, suggesting that there are at least hundreds of millions of these very distant galaxies to be found.

Credit: Kevin Heinlein for the JADES Collaboration, AAS242

No ground- or space-based telescope has been able to see beyond that, not even JWST.

JWST Deep Field vs. Hubble

This section of the latest JWST Ultra-Deep Field, which overlaps the Hubble Extreme Deep Field and Ultra-Deep Field, reveals an enormous number of objects that were previously invisible to Hubble, even with only 4% of observing time. The James Webb Space Telescope is very good, but what these galaxies mean for cosmology is still under review.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Christina Williams (NSF NOIRLab), Sandro Takela (Cambridge), Michael Maceda (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI); Animation: E. Siegel

JWST’s larger size, better resolution, and IR enhancement provide superior feedback.

JWST Deep Field vs. Hubble

This region of space, first iconically visualized by the Hubble Telescope and later by the James Webb Space Telescope, shows an animation switching between the two. The James Webb Space Telescope reveals gaseous features, deeper galaxies, and other details not visible to Hubble. Although many of these galaxies are very distant, smaller galaxies, more than 14.6 billion light-years away, can appear larger than their closer, smaller counterparts.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Christina Williams (NSF NOIRLab), Sandro Takela (Cambridge), Michael Maceda (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI); Animation: E. Siegel

Today, in 2023, the GN-z11 has fallen to ninth place all-time.

The James Webb Space Telescope captures the deepest view of the dark night sky, revealing a huge array of galaxies.

This stunning view of the distant universe has been revealed in stunning detail with the second data release from the JADES collaboration. Using data primarily from NIRCam but spectrally enhanced by NIRSpec, nearby and distant stars and galaxies, as well as some of the most distant cosmic objects ever seen, are detected side by side.

Credit: JADES Collaboration

The JADES collaboration helped greatly.

JWST Jade

This image shows JWST’s Advanced Galactic Deep Extraterrestrial Survey (JADES) study area. This region includes and contains the Hubble Deep Field Maximum and reveals new galaxies at record distances that Hubble could not see. The colors in JWST images are not “real colors” but are assigned based on a variety of choices. This image, released in December 2022, has since been enhanced by successive observations within the same region of space.

Image source: NASA, ESA, CSA, M. Zamani (ESA/Webb); Credits: Brant Robertson (UC Santa Cruz), S. Tachella (Cambridge), E. Curtis Lake (OH), S. Cargnani (Scula Normal Superior), JADES Collaboration

Three new galaxies:

Now grab points 1, 3 and 10.

Jadis breaks records

The four most distant galaxies identified as part of JADES, so far, include three that exceed the “most distant galaxy” threshold previously defined by Hubble. With no more than a quarter of the total JADES data taken yet, this record is likely to fall again, perhaps several times over, over the coming months and years, but the unmistakable feature of a Lehman break can be clearly seen. JADES-GS-z13-0, the farthest, received the record from Hubble in December 2022, and still holds it today.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, M. Zamani (ESA/Webb), Leah Hustak (STScI); Scientific credit: Brant Robertson (UC Santa Cruz), S. Tacchella (Cambridge), E. Curtis-Lake (UOH), S. Carniani (Scuola Normale Superiore), JADES Collaboration

JADES has determined that GN-z11 is younger: from 433, not 407, million years after the Big Bang.

The most distant

A section of the GOODS-N field, containing galaxy GN-z11, the most distant galaxy ever observed. Originally, the Hubble data indicated a redshift of 11.1, a distance of 32.1 billion light-years, and an inferred age of the universe of 407 million light-years at the time of the emission of this light. Thanks to better James Webb Space Telescope data, we know that this galaxy is a little closer: at a redshift of 10.60, which is equivalent to the universe being 433 million years old.

Image source: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI), A. Feild (STScI), P. Oesch (Yale)

Another galaxy measured spectroscopically with JADES, UDFj-39546284, ranks sixth.

First view of UDFj-39546284 as seen by Hubble in 2009

UDFj-39546284 was first imaged in 2009 and identified in 2010 as a possible candidate for a very distant galaxy, and was only confirmed spectroscopically by the JADES collaboration in 2023, using JWST data. It is located at a redshift of 11.58, making it the sixth most distant galaxy on record at present.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Illingworth (University of California, Santa Cruz), R. Bouwens (University of California, Santa Cruz, and Leiden University) and the HUDF09 team

The UNCOVER collaboration has also surpassed Hubble’s old record.

Full frame mosaic without scale bar JWST caption

This image shows the entire imaging field of the JWST UNCOVER survey, which occupies about 0.007 square degrees in the sky. In this small speck of space, about 50,000 objects have been detected, most of them not associated with the cluster pictured, Abell 2744, at all, but rather as background galaxies affected by the gravity of the cluster itself. There are no signs of matter and antimatter being annihilated here, indicating that all the stars and galaxies shown are made of matter, not antimatter. However, many gravitationally lensed background galaxies are among the most distant galaxies ever discovered.

Source: R. Bezanson et al., ApJ submitted, JWST UNCOVER Treasury, 2023

UNCOVER-z13 and UNCOVER-z12 are ranked #2 and #4 all-time at the moment.

JWST Pandora Appel 2744 Set

This JWST view of part of the Pandora cluster, Abell 2744, shows multiple galaxies located far from the cluster itself, many dating back to the first billion years of cosmic history. Gravitational lensing makes these otherwise unseen galaxies available to JWST, where the UNCOVER survey currently holds spots No. 2 and No. 4 for the most distant galaxies ever seen.

Image source: NASA, ESA, CSA, Tommaso Treu (UCLA); Treatment: Zolt G. Levay (STScI)

The GLASS and CEERS collaborations also viewed the early and very distant universe using the James Webb Space Telescope.

Alma Glass-JWST

A very distant candidate galaxy within the GLASS-JWST survey volume, along with the lines outlining the detection of double-ionization oxygen by ALMA. JWST and ALMA data point toward the same object with an offset of only 0.5 arcsecond. This galaxy, now known as GLASS-z12, is the fifth most distant astronomical object ever discovered.

Credit: TJLC Bakx et al., MNRAS, 2022

GLASS-z12 holds the fifth spot, while the Maisie galaxy and CEERS2 588 hold the 7th and 8th spots.

Macy Galaxy CEERS JWST

This group of several different JWST “pointers” from the CEERS scan contains the Macy Galaxy, a high-redshift galaxy candidate that was recently confirmed spectroscopically to be at z = 11.4, making it only 390 million years after the explosion Great. It also contains four separate, nearby galaxies at a confirmed redshift of 4.9, indicating the existence of an initial population of galaxies just 1.2 billion years after the Big Bang.

Image source: NASA/STScI/CEERS/TACC/S. Finkelstein/M. Bagley/R. Larson/Z. Levi

The Guinness Book of World Records is wrong. Final spectroscopic confirmation is required to determine the galaxy’s distance.

Candidate galaxy problem HD1

In all the spectra taken by our most powerful observatories, including ALMA, of Galaxy HD1, only one temporary line signature appears: the double ionization oxygen line. Its confidence falls short of the “gold standard” required to declare a discovery, and it will remain just a high-redshift candidate galaxy (despite what Guinness says) until the James Webb Space Telescope takes a real spectrum of this object.

Credit: Y. Harikane et al., ApJ, 2022

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