Ken Kola
December 13, 2012

Peering deep into the past, astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have identified seven primitive galaxies that formed more than 13 billion years ago, when the universe was less than three percent of its present age.

The newly-discovered galaxies are seen as they looked 350 million to 600 million years after the big bang.

The discovery gives scientists the clearest picture yet of the period when the very first galaxies were forming. It supports the idea that they were created continuously over time, and indicates that they may have provided enough radiation to reheat, or reionize, the universe a few hundred million years after the big bang.

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