An image showing hundreds of galaxies in deep space.

James Webb Space Telescope catches ‘impostor’ galaxies red-handed

Dusty, star-forming galaxies that existed a billion years after the Big Bang could be masquerading as the record-breaking galaxies discovered by NASA’s new space telescope that have been thought to date to even earlier times. 

In the weeks since the first batch of science data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was released, astronomers have been reporting a steady stream of candidate galaxies far more distant than any seen before the launch of NASA’s flagship space telescope. If measurements are correct, then these galaxies existed just 200–300 million years after the Big Bang, but now two independent teams of astronomers are calling at least some of them into question.


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