The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) designated NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope and Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) missions and contractors as three of the AIAA Premier Awards recipients for 2023. The awards honor those in the aerospace industry that AIAA considers to be the most influential and inspiring.

“We congratulate both the Webb and DART teams on their incredible dedication to achieving NASA’s science goals for the benefit of all,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator for NASA Headquarters’ Science Mission Directorate. “Their significant contributions have launched NASA into a new era of science and inspired the world through their discoveries.”

“We are inspired by the hard work and achievements of these teams, and we thank them for their dedication to the aerospace industry,” AIAA President Laura McGill stated. “AIAA is committed to ensuring that aerospace professionals are recognized and celebrated for their innovations and discoveries that make the world safer, more connected, accessible, and prosperous.”

AIAA Aerospace Excellence Award

In 2023, the AIAA Award for Aerospace Excellence was created to honor a unique program or mission in the aerospace sector that deserves timely acknowledgment.

This award recognizes a one-of-a-kind achievement by an aerospace organization or team that is changing the future of aerospace and motivating the next generation to seek careers in aerospace.

The DART team, which included NASA and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, received this honor. DART successfully altered the orbit of a target asteroid, which presented no threat to Earth, on September 26, 2022, marking humanity’s first time purposefully influencing the motion of a celestial object and the first full-scale demonstration of asteroid deflection technology.

AIAA Goddard Space Flight Award

The Goddard Astronautics Award is AIAA’s highest accolade for outstanding achievement in the field of astronautics. It was established in the 1940s by his widow, Esther Goddard, to honor her husband, Robert H. Goddard, a rocket visionary, pioneer, daring experimentalist, and superb engineer whose early liquid rocket engine launches laid the groundwork for the development of astronautics.

The Goddard Astronautics Award for this year went to the following Webb team members for “delivering groundbreaking engineering performance for the James Webb Space Telescope, to advance the study of every phase of cosmic history”: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s Lee D. Feinberg and Michael T. Menzel; and Northrop Grumman’s Charlie Atkinson and Jennifer Love-Pruitt.

Webb is the world’s premier space science observatory, led by NASA with partners ESA (European Space Agency) and CSA (Canadian Space Agency). Its design expanded the capabilities of space telescopes to solve riddles in our solar system, gaze beyond to distant worlds orbiting other stars, and investigate the strange architecture and origins of our universe and our role in it.

Engineer of the Year Award from AIAA

This award is given to an Institute member who has made a recent individual, technical contribution in the application of scientific and mathematical ideas that has resulted in a major technological accomplishment.

Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center’s Alison A. Nordt was recognized “for exceptional engineering and technical leadership in the development of the Near-Infrared Camera critical to the success of the James Webb Space Telescope.”

AIAA Fellows Class of 2023

AIAA announced their 2023 class of Honorary Fellows and Fellows. Eight people with NASA connections were named Fellows:

  • Christopher D’Souza, NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s deputy administrator Pamela Melroy
  • NASA’s Langley Research Center, Engineering & Safety Center’s Kauser S. Imtiaz
  • NASA Headquarters’ Jill Marlowe
  • NASA’s Langley Research Center’s Eugene Morelli
  • Surendra Sharma, Ames Research Center, NASA
  • NASA’s Glenn Research Center’s Rickey J. Shyne
  • Former NASA Headquarters Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Thomas H. Zurbuchen

The 2023 AIAA Premier Awards will be presented, as well as the Institute’s Class of 2023 Honorary Fellows and Fellows, at the AIAA Awards Gala on Thursday, May 18, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest technical society for aerospace. AIAA brings together business, academia, and government to enhance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. It has almost 30,000 individual members from 91 countries and 100 corporate members.

James Webb Space Telescope has delivered some amazing images and this is before even this space telescope finished with its first full year of observations. The telescope had detected galaxies in the incredibly young universe. Among these stunning images and remarkable findings, this was a puzzling assertion. The Big Bang Theory of cosmology was claimed to be “broken” due to those galaxies which were so massive and appeared so early. This rumor got so much popularity. But due to the false information on the internet, this claim can not be trusted.

Is Big Bang theory really ‘broken’?

The answer is “No”. Here is when the researchers step up to back up this theory. The researchers deeply studied the images taken by the James Webb Telescope. And determined that the distant galaxies, indeed, perfectly agree with our modern understanding of cosmology.

The existence of distant galaxies is not necessarily a problem. Modern Plasma cosmology predicts the appearance of galaxies in the very young universe known as ΛCDM cosmology.  Where the Λ stands for dark energy, and CDM is short for “cold dark matter”. This is due to the absence of galaxies and even stars billions of years ago. When our universe was much smaller and denser than everything was much more uniform, with only minor density differences appearing at random.

However, those density differences grew over time, with the slightly denser pockets drawing more material onto them. Over hundreds of millions of years, those pockets grew to become the first stars, and then the first galaxies.

Indeed, one of the top objectives of the James Webb telescope was to discover. And characterize those first galaxies. So finding galaxies in the incredibly young universe is a point in favor of the Big Bang theory rather than against it.

So, What is the conflict then?

The apparent tension resulted from the estimated masses of those galaxies. Several of them were quite massive — well over 10^10 solar masses. Although they are still much smaller than the Milky Way, they were quite large in the early universe.

According to the researchers who discovered these galaxies, their large masses put them at odds with many models of galactic formation and evolution. The researchers even went so far as to say that no galaxy formation model within the ΛCDM framework may be able to produce such massive galaxies so quickly.

However, those claims were entirely dependent on correctly measuring the distance to those galaxies — an extremely difficult task at such great distances. The researchers used a technique known as a photometric redshift, which approximates a galaxy’s distance by fitting a galaxy’s rough light spectrum to a model. This technique was used to find the record-breaking galaxies that might conflict with cosmological models. This technique is notoriously unreliable. Simple effects like extra dust surrounding the galaxies making them appear farther away than they are.

What is spectroscopic redshift?

A new team of researchers used James Webb to identify galaxies with a much more precise. And the reliable method of determining distance, known as spectroscopic redshift, to accurately judge if the Big Bang Theory is in trouble.

How spectroscopic redshift has helped researchers?

This method identifies the spectral lines of known elements emitted by galaxies. And uses them to calculate the redshift and thus the distance to the galaxies. The team discovered four galaxies using this more precise technique. Despite having long-standing, accurate distances, each of those galaxies was equally remote from the known galaxies. These galaxies did, however, have much smaller masses—between 10^8 and 10^9 solar masses.

Does ΛCDM allow for the existence of these smaller galaxies?

The main concern was that does ΛCDM allow for the existence of these smaller galaxies at such a young age in the history of the universe does the tension persist. Building galaxies is a difficult task. While pen-and-paper mathematics can allow cosmologists to chart the overall history and evolution of the cosmos within the ΛCDM model, galaxy formation is a complex interplay of many different types of physics, including gravity, star formation and supernova explosions, dust distribution, cosmic rays, magnetic fields, and more.

Accounting for all of these interactions necessitates the use of supercomputer simulations that start with the raw, primal state of the universe billions of years ago. And use physics laws to build artificial galaxies. This is the only way to link what we see in the real world to the basic parameters of the ΛCDM model. For example, the amount of normal and dark matter in the cosmos.

Fortunately, there were no such issues. The team described in their research paper, which has been submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters and is available as a preprint via arXiv, that the appearance of galaxies with 10^8 solar masses in the early universe was no sweat for ΛCDM.

Let’s conclude this discussion!

As is customary, this is not the final answer that the Big Bang Theory is broken. Astronomers may yet confirm the distance to a very large galaxy in the early universe, forcing us to reconsider our understanding of galaxy formation and, possibly, the ΛCDM cosmological model. It is critical in science to keep an open mind. However, the exaggerated claims made from the early James Webb data don’t cause concern just yet.


Published by: Sky Headlines

Galaxies have evolved significantly in every aspect from the time of early galaxy formation and the present. They have continuously increased their celestial populations while enlarging the cosmic medium with heavy elements, producing multiple generations of stars from molecular gas clouds. James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) discovers that galaxies in the early universe were surprisingly diverse.

According to NASA’s observational study of thousands of galaxies.  NASA found that the cosmos is significantly more diversified and developed than previously believed. The study was based on 850 galaxies that were approximately 11–13 billion years old and were spotted at redshifts of z 3–9.

Hubble Deep Field images VS JWST images!

JWST is valuable to Hubble at revealing structures in distant galaxies for two reasons: First, because of its bigger mirror, it has better light-gathering capabilities and can see farther and more clearly. Second, it can see through dust more clearly because it looks at longer infrared wavelengths than Hubble.

On December 28, 1995, 342 different types of images were merged to produce the Hubble Deep Field image. Astronomers claimed to measure the movement, age, and composition of the galaxies photographed by combining these photos.

They claimed that bluer objects may include young stars or be nearby. Older stars may be present in redder objects, or they may be further away. Even the biggest telescopes have never been able to observe most of the galaxies because they are four billion times fainter than the human eye can see.

But as for JWST discovery, Scientists and researchers are now saying that to determine a galaxy’s age and field more time is needed. As the galaxies even at the high redshifts were already quite developed.

When the images taken by James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) were compared to Hubble Space Telescope photos that depict the same dim, high redshift galaxies, JWST images are slightly clearer.

What do experts say?

A lead author of the new paper and one of the CEERS researchers Jeyhan Kartaltepe also made a statement. He says that even at high redshifts the galaxies were already quite developed. Moreover, she said that the galaxies at high redshifts also had a vast range of structures

Jeyhan Kartaltepe have said that:

“This suggests that we still don’t know when the earliest galactic structures formed,”

Moreover, Jeyhan Kartaltepe concluded:

“We have yet to see the very first galaxies with disks. We will have to study many more galaxies at even higher redshifts to quantify at what point features such as discs were able to form.”

Another researcher who was researching this problem Mr. Jordan Mirocha (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), said:

“There’s either an overabundance of galaxies, or they’re much brighter than our typical models predict,”


Published by: Sky Headlines