JWST’s hunt for distant galaxies keeps turning up surprises

Galaxies in the early universe are bigger, brighter and more mature than expected

A photo of three people, seen in silhouette, pointing at stars on a large wall of several screens.

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin search for distant galaxies in the first deep field image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, released in July 2022.

Nolan Zunk/Univ. of Texas at Austin

When Brant Robertson saw a new measurement of the distance to a familiar galaxy, he laughed out loud.

For more than a decade, the galaxy had been a contender for the most distant ever observed.