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(CNN) -- It may not be possible to travel back in time, but seeing stars and galaxies as they looked millions or even billions of years ago is no problem thanks to telescopes, the closest thing we have to time machines.
Now, astronomers are holding their breath to see what they'll observe and discover with a new generation of huge telescopes set to be built around the world.
Peering ever deeper into space and further back in time, the powerful devices will be able to show what the universe was like when it was just a few hundred million years old and emerging from a period of total darkness after the Big Bang.
"[We'll be] looking at the first generation of stars forming in the universe, which is kind of a cool idea: The time when the lights went on in the universe. There was no light before that time," said Daniel Fabricant, associate director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.