JWST spots smallest galaxy outside our local universe

The James Webb Space Telescope has glimpsed the smallest galaxy outside our local universe – and it is a thousand times less massive than the Milky Way

Space 21 October 2022

The giant El Gordo galaxy cluster

The giant El Gordo galaxy cluster has been used to spot a tiny galaxy beyond it

NASA/ESA/J. Jee (Univ. of California, Davis)/J. Hughes (Rutgers Univ.)/F. Menanteau (Rutgers Univ. & Univ. of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign)/C. Sifon (Leiden Obs.)/R. Mandelbum (Carnegie Mellon Univ.)/L. Barrientos (Univ. Catolica de Chile)/K. Ng (Univ. of California, Davis)

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has spotted the smallest galaxy outside our local universe by using the heaviest known cluster of galaxies, called El Gordo, as a giant lens.

El Gordo was first discovered in 2011. Follow-up measurements found it contained so much mass – the equivalent of 3 million billion suns – that it was at the very limit of what standard cosmological theory predicts. This huge mass makes it useful as a …

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