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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

James Webb spots "impossibly massive" galaxies in the distant universe

• arclein

Because the speed of light in a vacuum is constant, we watch objects in space on a time delay. The Sun is eight light-minutes away, so we're seeing it as it existed eight minutes ago. The next closest star, Alpha Centauri, is about four light-years away, so our view of it is four years behind schedule. If you extend that principle out into the deepest reaches of space, you can literally look back in time billions of years, getting a glimpse into how galaxies evolved over the lifetime of the universe. And with the unprecedented power of the James Webb Space Telescope, we can now see closer to the beginning of time than ever before, in clearer detail. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this means we keep finding things that go against our current understanding of the early universe. A recent study of James Webb data revealed that barred spiral galaxies ?" those like our own Milky Way that have an advanced structure ?" existed billions of years earlier than thought possible.