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Webb uncovers dense cosmic knot in the early Universe


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Webb's view around the extremely red quasar SDSS J165202.64+172852.3

Astronomers looking into the early Universe have made a surprising discovery using the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. Webb’s spectroscopic capabilities, combined with its infrared sensitivity, have uncovered a cluster of massive galaxies in the process of formation around an extremely red quasar. The result will expand our understanding of how galaxies in the early Universe coalesced into the cosmic web we see today.

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      ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Sarajedini This densely populated group of stars is the globular cluster NGC 1841, which is part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way galaxy that lies about 162,000 light-years away. Satellite galaxies are bound by gravity in orbits around a more massive host galaxy. We typically think of the Andromeda Galaxy as our galaxy’s nearest galactic companion, but it is more accurate to say that Andromeda is the nearest galaxy that is not in orbit around the Milky Way galaxy. In fact, dozens of satellite galaxies orbit our galaxy and they are far closer than Andromeda. The largest and brightest of these is the LMC, which is easily visible to the unaided eye from the southern hemisphere under dark sky conditions away from light pollution.
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      Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
      Media Contact:
      Claire Andreoli
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
      claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
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      This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image features a densely populated group of stars, the globular cluster NGC 1841. ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Sarajedini This densely populated group of stars is the globular cluster NGC 1841, which is part of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way galaxy that lies about 162,000 light-years away. Satellite galaxies are bound by gravity in orbits around a more massive host galaxy. We typically think of the Andromeda Galaxy as our galaxy’s nearest galactic companion, but it is more accurate to say that Andromeda is the nearest galaxy that is not in orbit around the Milky Way galaxy. In fact, dozens of satellite galaxies orbit our galaxy and they are far closer than Andromeda. The largest and brightest of these is the LMC, which is easily visible to the unaided eye from the southern hemisphere under dark sky conditions away from light pollution.
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      Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

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      Media Contact:
      Claire Andreoli
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
      claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
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      617-496-7998
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      Media Contacts
      Rob Gutro – rob.gutro@nasa.gov
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
      Christine Pulliam – cpulliam@stsci.edu
      Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
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      Details
      Last Updated Feb 22, 2024 Editor Marty McCoy Related Terms
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