Using the first scientific image released by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) this month, an international team of scientists with a major contribution from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built an improved model of the mass distribution of the galaxy cluster SMACS J0723 .3−7327. Acting as a so-called gravitational lens, the Foreground Galaxy Cluster produces and magnifies multiple images of background galaxies. One family of these multiple images belongs to a galaxy, which the model expects to be about 13 gears away, that is, whose light traveled about 13 billion years before it reached the telescope.
It was the first scientific image released by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) of a gravitational lens, notably of the galaxy cluster SMACS J0723.3−7327. Gravitational lenses, especially galaxy clusters, magnify light from background galaxies and produce multiple images of these galaxies. Prior to JWST, 19 multiple images of six background sources were known in SMACS J0723.3−7327. JWST data has now revealed an additional 27 multiplex images from ten other lens sources.
Gabriel Bartosz-Kamenha, Postdoctoral Fellow at TUM, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) and German Center for Cosmic Lenses (GCCL) points out. The collaboration first used data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the Multi-Unit Spectrograph (MUSE) to build a “pre-JWST” lens model, then refined it using the newly available JWST near-infrared imaging. “The JWST imaging is very stunning and beautiful, showing many multiplexed lens background sources, which allowed us to dramatically improve the lens block model,” he adds.
One of the most accurate models available
Many of these new lenticular sources don’t have distance estimates yet, and the scientists used their mass model to predict how far these lenticular galaxies are likely to be. One of them was most likely found at an amazing distance of 13 gear (redshift > 7.5), that is, its light was emitted during the early stages of the universe. This galaxy is doubled into three images and its luminosity is amplified by a factor of 20 in total.
However, to study these primordial objects, it is necessary to accurately describe the effect of the lens for a group of foreground galaxies. “Our accurate comprehensive model forms the basis for exploring the JWST data,” asserts Sherry Soyo, Professor of Observational Cosmology at TUM, Head of the Max Planck Research Group at MPA and Visiting Researcher at Academia Sinica’s Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics. “The amazing JWST images show a large variety of hyperlens galaxies, which can be studied in detail thanks to our accurate model.”
The new frontal mass distribution model is able to reproduce the positions of all multiple images with high accuracy, making the model one of the most accurate available. For follow-up studies of these sources, lens models, including magnification and redshift maps (that is, distances) estimated from the model, are made publicly available. “We are very excited about this,” Soyo adds. “We eagerly await future JWST observations of other powerful lenticular galaxy clusters. These will not only allow us to better constrain the distribution of galactic masses, but also to study galaxies with high redshifts.”
How the James Webb Space Telescope allows us to see the first galaxies in the universe
GB Caminha et al, First JWST gravitational lensing observations: a new multi-image collective model with near-infrared observations of SMACS ~J0723.3−7327. arXiv: 2207.07567v1 [astro-ph.GA]arxiv.org/abs/2207.07567
Presented by the Technical University of Munich
the quote: Enhanced model of the mass distribution of the SMACS J0723.3−7327 galaxy cluster based on the Webb Telescope image (2022, July 28) retrieved July 29, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-07-mass-galaxy-cluster – smacs-j072337327.html
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