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The Early Universe Was a Strange Place

1 Oct 2020, 18:28 UTC
The Early Universe Was a Strange Place
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The story of the early universe is one that astronomers are filling in with each new observation. To look back across billions of years of time, across the light-years, takes some pretty complex instruments and long observations. The story, as we know it from those studies is really intriguing.

First, we have the origin of the universe, which we actually cannot directly detect. That occurred nearly 14 billion years ago, and fairly soon after this “Big Bang” happened, there was a period of darkness called “The Dark Ages”. That was a time that the newly born universe was cooling. Eventually, conditions allowed light to pass through the masses of hydrogen and helium that existed at the time.

The period after the Dark Ages is the Epoch of Reionization, and it’s when the first stars could shine out. At that point, the first galaxies were starting to form. They were cuddled into various shapes by the gravitational influence of dark matter.

That’s sort of the executive summary of the first epochs of the universe. It would look strange to our eyes: first, just masses of gas, and, of course, darkness. Then, the formation of hugely massive monster stars, and ...

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