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Release No.: 2012-15
For Release: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - 11:00am

The Older We Get, The Less We Know (Cosmologically)

New research finds that the ideal time to study the cosmos was more than 13 billion years ago, just about 500 million years after the Big Bang - the era (shown in this artist's conception) when the first stars and galaxies began to form. Since information about the early universe is lost when the first galaxies are made, the best time to view cosmic perturbations is right when stars began to form. Modern observers can still access this ascent era from a distance by using surveys designed to detect 21-cm radio emission from hydrogen gas at those early times.