Digging Up the Early Universe

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At discovermagazine.com

Hubble has given us views of infant galaxies as they were just 500 million years after the Big Bang, allowing cosmologists to see how quickly the raw materials from the newborn universe coalesced into stars and then galaxies and then clusters of galaxies. Even if dark matter fulfills cosmologists' wildest dreams, our quest will be far from over. It may sound good enough to get to within 1/10,000 of a second after the Big Bang, but theorists believe a lot of interesting things happened before then, most notably a rapid expansion of the universe, called inflation, and of course the instant of the Big Bang itself -- the equivalent of tracing evolution all the way back to the origin of life. The closer we get to that point, the better we will understand how our universe came to be, and whether other universes could have formed in the same manner.

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At discovermagazine.com



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