They are only a few hundred million years younger than the rest of the universe.
Researchers examined an early photograph taken with the James Webb telescope to discover ancient stars. It is assumed that these clusters of stars existed shortly after the Universe itself.
The telescope initially observed the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster, which is located about 4.6 billion light-years from Earth. Researchers then observed more distant galaxies — the very oldest constellations.
Scientists estimate that the oldest galaxy discovered was formed more than 13 billion years ago, about 680 million years after the creation of the universe. For comparison, the age of the Earth is estimated at about 4.5 billion years.
Astronomers have discovered a new type of "germ" of star systems near ancient star clusters, indicating the early stages of star formation.
Scientists hope to learn more about the creation and development of new galaxies by analysing the new data. Previously, it was impossible to look so far into space.
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