"Universe breakers", in case anyone missed them

In case anyone missed this in the media frenzy, here is some interesting reading. Certainly a huge surprise. Had a feeling infrared astronomy is going to do up-end/discover some new cool stuff but certainly not this.

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Spectra first then paper + media

But who am I?

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But thanks for posting, I hardly follow any news

One would think so but if its in nature I feel like someone went through it and thought their methodology and assumptions were sound enough to accept it and release the accelerated article review.

In other physics news some guy might have finally found how anaesthetics actually work so fun times.

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Sure ofcourse

But then again there are usually also other considerations; the institutions they work at ask around for newsworthy discoveries they can send out, the ‘next big JWST discovery’ train where excitement or fear of being scooped wins from patience, I mean they’re just people too.

They even state in the news item they really ought to take spectra to confirm.

Sometimes it’s science, sometimes it’s showbizz :wink:

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Very good point! At the end of the day science might seem a community of people working to learn more about the world around us but there will always be some people who are in it for fame or try to hype up what they do.


Problem with galaxies like these is they can pretty much only be spectroscopically followed up by JWST. They may have put a cycle 2 proposal in for this, but there’s no guarantee it will be successful. Sometimes its better to publish candidates instead of waiting for years to publish with spectra. Certainly benefits the community as a whole for that approach to be taken, in an open science sense.


In this case, with the suggestions being made, I would hope that they prioritise this one. Good point though - the whole world wants to use it

Good points

But then again I think the Sagan standard applies here

“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”

These are not just some new white dwarf or planetary nebula candidates we’re talking about here but “universe breakers” as the team informally calls them, seems like quite a claim to me.

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They’ve been calling them “universe breakers” informally within their team, but haven’t published that term.

If they want to make the actual claim that these objects are what they think they are, they will indeed need confirmatory spectroscopy, but they published them as “candidates”, which is fine without spectra.

Yes exactly - it’s a bit of informal hyperbole. Don’t think anyone is claiming that it actually destroys/upends any major theories.