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A long time ago, Chris Mullis took some pictures of galaxies far, far away

Twenty years ago, Chris Mullis was an astrophysicist, making maps of the universe.

Chris Mullis

One day, he stumbled upon a galaxy cluster—he actually took the images as a favor for some colleagues.

But his discovery led scientists to point the new Webb Space Telescope at the same area.

And when NASA released a new photo of that cluster last week, it was the deepest look man has ever had into the early days of the universe.

For reasons you’ll hear about in this episode, Chris Mullis doesn’t practice astronomy any more—at least not professionally.

But his memory of that discovery is still strong. And so is his belief of why it matters to keep looking at the stars.

Webb galaxy cluster
A new image of the galaxy cluster Mullis discovered

Show notes

Other music in this episode

  • Lobo Loco, "Vibes of the Universe"
  • The Owl, "Telescope"

Tommy Tomlinson has hosted the podcast SouthBound for WFAE since 2017. He also does a commentary, On My Mind, which airs every Monday.