- TL;DR Summary
- How can the James Webb telescope see 13.3 billion years into the past when the universe is only 13.6 billion years old?
If the Big Bang happened 13.6 billion years ago how can the James Webb telescope now see galaxies 13.3 billion light years away? 13.3 billion years ago the universe was 0.3 billion years old. How large was the universe at that time? If physical mater traveled in all directions from the point of the big bang at light speed for 0.3 billion years, the longest distance between the edges of the universe would be 0.6 billion light years. The light that the James Webb telescope is seeing that came from those galaxies had to travel 13.3 billion light years to get here. That means the mater that became earth, if it was at the opposite edge of the universe from the light emitting galaxies, had to travel at least 12.7 billion light years (13.3-0.6) in 13.3 billion years in order to keep ahead of the light so that it could detect it here, now. How is that possible? Did the light take a slower route?