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Super-chilled robot ready to study the very first stars and galaxies

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Headlined to H4 6/30/12


I have written quite a bit recently about the quest to see the first stars and galaxies. Scientists are impatient to probe this epoch because they will learn how the early Universe evolved, and that will help them explain why the cosmos looks the way it does now. The first stars were likely hot, blue giants. They would have burnt brilliant but brief lives, producing the very first heavy elements. And their intense ultra-violet light would have transformed their environment, 'frying' the neutral gas around them - ripping electrons off atoms - to produce the diffuse intergalactic plasma we still detect between nearby stars today. It is certainly a key epoch.

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