National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

How the Universe Escaped its “Dark Ages”

| Science

An international team of astronomers has uncovered an important clue about how the Universe emerged from its “dark ages” some 13 billion years ago. By looking at nearby galaxies with the Subaru and Keck Telescopes, the team inferred what may have happened to the first galaxies of our Universe. By looking for signs of reionization in nearby galaxies, they found evidence that dense hydrogen “fog” burned off first in isolated, low-density regions of the Universe and that reionization took place in the dense, crowded regions of the Universe a few million years later.

the Sombrero Galaxy (M104)
The Subaru Telescope captured this image of the Sombrero Galaxy (M104), which is a spiral galaxy located in a small galaxy group. According to Dr. Spitler's research, this galaxy may have emerged from the hydrogen fog of the dark ages early in the Universe's history.