Dan Coe

Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

ESA/AURA Astronomer
JWST NIRCam Instrument Scientist

We are all made of star stuff. But the first stars were only made of hydrogen and helium. How long did it take stars to make all the heavier elements we're made of? When was there enough of that stuff to begin forming planets and life?

Hubble has revealed an individual star in the early universe, 93% of the way back to the Big Bang. The z=6 lensed star Earendel was discovered by Brian Welch (Nature paper, APOD).

Webb will look at this star and other galaxies in the early universe to tell us where we came from and how we got here.

Webb will also study the most distant galaxies yet known, including MACS0647-JD below at z=11, observed 97% of the way back to the Big Bang when the universe was just 400 million years old. And with greater infrared capabilities, Webb will discover even more highly redshifted galaxies, among the first to form in the early universe.