NASA / JPL-CALTECH / R. HURT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / R. HURT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The first stars. Artwork of the first stars in the universe, thought to have formed over 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only a few million years old. These stars, called Population III, formed from the clouds of hydrogen gas (blue) formed by the Big Bang. The stars were huge and hot, and lived short, brilliant lives before dying in supernova explosions. Some of these are seen as very bright blasts, for instance at centre right. The light from these stars was detected in autumn 2005 by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The expansion of the universe has redshifted the ultraviolet light from these stars to the infrared wavelengths studied by Spitzer. To see the actual light detected by Spitzer, see R980/190.
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