There were 10 times more galaxies just like our own Milky Way in the early Universe than previously thought.
This cosmic insight comes form one of the first studies of images captured by Nasa's new James Webb Space Telescope.
One of its authors, Prof Christopher Conselice from the University of Manchester, UK, said that Webb could "zoom in on the early Universe".
This yielded insights about objects in space that "we knew existed but didn't understand how and when they formed".
Disc galaxies dominate the "galaxy population" today," the researcher explained.