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Cosmic Searchlights Reveal

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posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 12:35 AM
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Millions of faint galaxies are hovering near the edge of our universe, too dim to be detected by most telescopes -- but some huge cosmic explosions and the supersensitive infrared eyes of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are bringing many of these muted galaxies to light.

Located approximately 12.5 billion light-years away from Earth, the distant galaxies exist in an era when our universe was just one billion years old. With Spitzer's sensitive infrared eyes, astronomers can finally snap infrared portraits and even "weigh" many of these otherwise invisible galaxies.

"A few billion years after the big bang, 90 percent of the stars being born were occurring in these types of faint galaxies. By identifying this population, we hope to gain insights into the environments where the universe's first stars formed," says Dr. Ranga Ram Chary, of the Spitzer Science Center, Pasadena, Calif.

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Object name: M 82, Messier 82, NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy

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[edit on 26-3-2008 by Enceladus]

[edit on 26-3-2008 by Enceladus]




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