This image was taken as part of the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES) — one of Webb’s largest first year science programs. Though data is still coming in, JADES is already revolutionizing what we know about galaxies and star formation in the early universe.
Light from distant galaxies is stretched to longer wavelengths and “redder” colors over time due to the expansion of the universe — a phenomenon called redshift. Astronomers measure a galaxy’s redshift to learn how far away it is, as well as when it existed in the early universe. Before Webb, there were only a few dozen galaxies observed above a redshift of 8, corresponding to when the universe was younger than 650 million years old. Now Webb’s JADES program has uncovered nearly a thousand of these extremely distant galaxies!