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Light from the first stars, Spitzer image

Light from the first stars, Spitzer image

R980/0190

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Credit

NASA / JPL-CALTECH / A. KASHLINSKY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / A. KASHLINSKY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Light from the first stars. Infrared Spitzer Space Telescope image of light (orange) from the first stars in the universe. To detect this light, a region of sky in the constellation Draco was imaged, and the light from known objects masked out (grey). This revealed this faint background glow, thought to be the light from Population III stars. These formed over 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only a few hundred million years old. These stars were huge and hot, and the energetic ultraviolet light they emitted has been redshifted to infrared as the universe expanded. For this region before masking, see R980/189.

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