James Webb Telescope Finding TOO MANY Early Galaxies

IN SPACE - JULY 12: In this handout photo provided by NASA, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope reveals Stephans Quintet, a visual grouping of five galaxies, in a new light on July 12, 2022 in space. This enormous mosaic is Webb's largest image to date, covering about one-fifth of the Moons diameter. It contains over 150 million pixels and is constructed from almost 1,000 separate image files. The information from Webb provides new insights into how galactic interactions may have driven galaxy evolution in the early universe.  (Photo by NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Evidence is building that the first galaxies formed earlier than expected, astronomers announced at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.
  • As the James Webb Space Telescope views swaths of sky spotted with distant galaxies, multiple teams have found that the earliest stellar metropolises are more mature and more numerous than expected. The results may end up changing what we know about how the first galaxies formed.
  • Previous studies, such as those done using the Hubble Space Telescope, had suggested that as we look back toward a younger universe, the stable rotating disks of today give way to more chaotic shapes, representative of the violent mergers that built up the first galaxies.
  • Then again, those previous studies also had a hard time classifying the most distant ones, which looked like little more than smudges. That’s where the Webb telescope comes in.

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