Launched on Christmas morning 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) embarked on a $10 billion, 30-year mission to explore the universe's early stages from a unique vantage point 1.5 million kilometers away from the Earth. Surprisingly, it captured galaxies well-formed in the first billion years of the Universe, challenging existing models and sparking controversy over the Lambda-CDM cosmological model.
Advancements in telescope technology, from Galileo to Hubble, have continually reshaped cosmic understanding. The JWST, joining this lineage, aims to answer profound questions about galaxy origins. To comprehend the universe's beginnings, we delve into quantum mechanics and the cosmic microwave background, revealing ripples frozen during inflation that influence galaxy formation.
The universe's infancy, from a turbulent energy sea to the emergence of matter and radiation, is governed by quantum mechanics. Despite vast cosmic changes, the JWST hints at a more complex early universe. In the early universe, gravity intensified, causing matter and dark matter to pool, giving birth to galaxies. The JWST's observations prompt astronomers to consider factors like the stellar initial mass function.
Recent decades, marked by advanced telescopes unveiling smaller galaxies, challenge the notion that the epoch of galaxy evolution concluded. Rodrigo Ibata's 1990s research at the Anglo-Australian Telescope led to the discovery of the Sagittarius Dwarf, a galaxy crashing into the Milky Way. This revelation highlights Galactic Cannibalism, where our galaxy consumes other dwarfs.
While JWST's findings hint at a more complex early universe, astronomers fine-tune models to reconcile observations with the Lambda-CDM cosmological model. Despite initial concerns, the foundational understanding of our universe remains intact, emphasizing the ongoing refinement of cosmic comprehension through cutting-edge observations.