Over the past few days, an article has circulated on the Internet claiming that images taken by the James Webb Telescope (JWST) have debunked the big bang theory.
JWST is able to see the early days of the universe. However, an article titled “The Big Bang Didn’t Happen” claims that the JWST images somehow “caused panic among cosmologists” because they contradict the Big Bang theory.
The author of the article, Eric Lerner, goes on to quote another astronomer, Allison Kirkpatrick of the University of Kansas:
“Right now I’m lying awake at 3am wondering if I did everything wrong.”
“A friend warned me about this article and now I can’t stop getting emails applauding me for my bravery in making the Big Bang wrong,” she tweeted.
Kirkpatrick talked about various new data showing that galaxies have disks much sooner than we expected. While this may require adjustments to galaxy formation theories, it by no means revises the Big Bang theory, which Kirkpatrick did not refer to.
In fact, Kirkpatrick suggests that the JWST images “support the Big Bang model because they show us that early galaxies were different from the galaxies we see today – they were much smaller.”
In one part of the paper, Lerner seems to suggest that stars have been discovered that are older than the Big Bang theory would allow, and that since the JWST can see the color of distant galaxies, the red color of distant galaxies means they contain very old stars.
“According to the Big Bang theory, the most distant galaxies in JWST images are seen as they were only 400-500 million years after the beginning of the universe,” Lerner wrote.
“However, some galaxies have already shown stellar populations that are over a billion years old. Since nothing could have come into being before the Big Bang, the existence of these galaxies demonstrates that there was no Big Bang.”
Bu as Brian Keating points out, “We first have to make sure the calibration between redshift and distance is done” because the expansion of the universe causes a redshift.
At best, the papers Lerner cites suggest that we may need to revisit our theories about galaxy formation in order to explain how stellar disks appeared so quickly.