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Scientists find first light of the universe after Big Bang billions of years ago

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It is an exciting milestone for a group of scientists who have been looking for such findings for 12 years

Anna Freeman

01 Marzo 2018 15:54

Scientists have found traces of the earliest light in the universe, understood to emanate from the first stars formed after the Big Bang.

A new report, published in Nature, said researchers found the ‘fingerprint’ of the universe's first light as background radiation left on hydrogen.

‘This is the first time we've seen any signal from this early in the Universe, aside from the afterglow of the Big Bang,’ Judd Bowman, an astronomer at Arizona State University, said in a statement.

The exciting discovery is the closest scientists have ever come to observing the moment of ‘cosmic dawn’ after years of darkness in the universe.

‘It's very exciting to see our baby stars being born,’ Keith Bannister, astronomer at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), told CNN. ‘(Although) we can't see the stars themselves, we're seeing the effect they have on the gas around them.’

The discovery was made at a radio telescope in Western Australia, the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, operated by the CSIRO. In a statement, CSIRO said Bowman and his team have been working to detect the signals for 12 years.

‘This is the very beginning of a very long journey. There's been a lot of work to prepare for this point and now its been confirmed, everyone gets excited and more work will happen,’ Bannister said.

'There's a whole bunch of different times in the universe which are still inaccessible to use with our current telescopes ... there's a lot more to explore.’

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