Low Metallicity Early Galaxies

@thoughtful has referenced articles concerning observations of early galaxy formation.

Ethan Siegel on JWST’s Distant Galaxy Candidates
Giant ‘Baby’ Galaxies Shake Up Understanding of the Early Universe

Recent papers describe early galaxies which, more in line with conventional models of cosmological evolution, are smaller and metal poor.

two papers were released that put the issue to rest, providing a full spectrum of four early galaxies and showing that they all clearly date from just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. Imaging of the same galaxies shows that they’re full of young stars that lack most of the heavier elements seen in today’s Universe.

Webb confirms we’re looking at some of the Universe’s earliest galaxies

Source Papers:

Spectroscopic confirmation of four metal-poor galaxies at z = 10.3–13.2

Identification and properties of intense star-forming galaxies at redshifts z > 10


The stars themselves appear to be extremely young, as well. Based on the imaging of the galaxies, about half the stars in them are less than 70 million years old—perhaps considerably less. There’s also very little in the way of heavy elements around, which would have been generated by an even earlier generation of stars. At least one of the galaxies has less than 10 percent of the heavier elements seen in the Sun.

How does one understand that percentage number? Distribution of mass by element?

The pronouncements from young earth creationists about preliminary reports from the JWST are one thing, but it must be said that there were many splashy headlines that declared (a bit prematurely, it seems) that the instrument was spotting things that should not be there, models were being smashed, etc. This encapsulates the problem about science news to the public, which is that it exaggerates far too much.


And we have to be honest and say many scientists are all too culpable in that. Someone sticks a mic to their face and they suddenly are spewing stuff not found in their actual papers. This is a real problem and they should be called out for it.


This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.