Astronomers Read the Shadows of the Universe's Earliest Stars

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At www.theatlantic.com

If we're stardust, and if we're golden, we're now just a little bit closer to understanding what that means. This afternoon, NASA made an announcement: Astronomers, using data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, have developed a new way to understand the most ancient light of the universe. And: all the light. Or, as NASA sums it up, appropriately pragmatically and appropriately poetically: 'the total amount of light from all of the stars that have ever shone.' That light - photons from primordial stars, formed some 400 million years after the big bang - is still extant in the universe. It is more commonly known as extragalactic background light, or EBL - which is an accumulation of all the radiation in the universe, but which is also, more awesomely, all the starlight and all the goldenness that that universe will ever know.

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At www.theatlantic.com


 

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[[VID58]]This animation tracks several gamma rays ... by Kyle McDermott on Monday, Dec 17, 2012 at 7:12:59 PM