Researchers found a startling quantity of spiral galaxies in the early universe in a fascinating study.
Challenges Prevailing Notions on the Formation of Spiral Galaxies
Recent research contradicts the idea that spiral galaxies form by colliding and merging smaller galaxies. Traditional galaxy images include Milky Way-like spirals. A mere 60% of visible galaxies are spirals.
873 galaxies with redshifts between z = 0.5 and z = 4 were studied, spanning 5 billion to 12 billion years. Spirals were found in 216 of these galaxies, defying the idea that they were scarce in the early cosmos.
A significant number of galaxies above z = 3 were classified as spirals, even after accounting for merging galaxies. A fifth of galaxies at redshift z = 3 had spiral structures, suggesting mergers and collisions were the main cause fewer than two billion years after the Big Bang.
New Findings Challenge Prevailing Ideas on Spiral Galaxy Formation in the Early Universe
The general belief was that galaxy collisions and mergers caused rotations, disks, and spirals due to the early universe’s density. A new study using James Webb Space Telescope data from the Cosmic Evolution Early Release Science Survey (CEERS) argues otherwise.
This implies that many galaxies assumed the disk-shaped spiral form early in the universe. Conventional wisdom holds that collisions and mergers shape spiral galaxies, but a new study suggests additional processes are involved. With James Webb Space Telescope data, the researchers want to understand how early galaxies form and why spiral galaxies have survived over time.