The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Webb telescope is already challenging what astronomers thought they knew

By Joel Achenbach

26 Aug 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

You should read this article as it explains in an accessible way all the fascinating findings from the James Webb telescope.

The James Webb Space Telescope, performing splendidly as it examines the universe, has got astronomers scratching their heads. The very distant universe looks a little different than expected.

The telescope, launched eight months ago and orbiting the sun about a million miles from Earth, has been capturing images of extremely faint galaxies that emitted their light in the first billion years or so after the big bang. Observing these "early" galaxies is one of the main missions of the telescope - to see deeper into space, and further back in time, than any previous telescope.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content