University of Hawaiʻi astronomers to map universe’s first galaxies

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The Milky Way’s Galactic Centre and Jupiter (brightest spot at center top) are seen from the countryside near the small town of Reboledo, department of Florida, Uruguay, early on August 24, 2020. (Photo by MARIANA SUAREZ/AFP via Getty Images)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Astronomers from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy will help map the universe’s first galaxies — located over 13 billion light-years away from Earth.

The astronomers are part of the “COSMOS-Webb” project, a guest observer program at the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

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Astronomers will perform detailed follow-up observations of galaxies pictured in JWST images using the telescopes on Mauna Kea. The JWST is equipped with upgraded infrared sensitivity and resolution technology that can observe some of the universe’s most distant objects.

“Ground-based observations from Mauna Kea will be critical for turning the JWST images into a three-dimensional map of the universe.”

David Sanders, Institute for Astronomy lead investigator

The JWST is expected to become operational in October 2021. It will be the largest and most powerful space telescope on Earth and is set to succeed NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA’s COSMOS-Webb program is expected to help map the universe when it was less then 1/20th of its current age.

Click here to learn more about the JWST or click here to learn more about the Institute for Astronomy.

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