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Astronomers say they may have detected the light from some of the earliest stars to form in the Universe.
They have pictures of what appear to be very faint galaxies that shone more than 13 billion years ago, a mere 500 million years after the Big Bang.
The remarkable claim dramatically exceeds the current, broadly accepted record for the most distant detection.
The Caltech-led team behind the work recognises there will be sceptics but says it believes its data is strong.
It has published details in The Astrophysical Journal; and the group leader, Professor Richard Ellis, has been arguing the case at a conference in London, UK.
"We've had these galaxies for over a year and we have gone back to the telescope and revisited them, to prove their signals are robust," he explained.
"We feel confident now that we have done all that is humanly possibly to show the community that these galaxies are at these great distances," Professor Ellis told BBC News.