Distant ‘teenage galaxies’ surprise astronomers with unexpected heavy elements

The deeper we look into space, the further into time we see. Light emanating from some of the youngest galaxies in our universe must travel billions of years to reach us, and is captured by our instruments, rich in information from the cosmic dawn. And not only can this light tell us where we come from, but also where we might be going.

To understand the evolution of several of these “teenage” galaxies in the early universe, a team of astrophysicists led by Northwestern University inspected data from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which observed realms that do not formed only two to three billion years after the Big Bang.

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