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Distant galaxy may contain primeval stars

UV light hints at cache of members of earliest stellar population

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6:00am, June 17, 2015

STAR LIGHT  Ultraviolet light from clouds of hydrogen and helium in a distant galaxy, illustrated, suggest that primordial stars lurk inside.

A stash of one of the earliest generations of stars might be lurking in a galaxy whose light has taken nearly 13 billion years to reach Earth. The finding possibly provides a rare look at how, when and where stars arose out of the pristine gas that was left behind in the wake of the Big Bang.

While other galaxies house clusters that could be typical of first-generation stars, the new observations provide the most direct evidence yet of such a population, astrophysicist David Sobral of the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Lisbon, Portugal, and colleagues report. Their findings, described online June 4 at arXiv.org, will appear in the Astrophysical Journal.

A galaxy designated CR7 is loaded with hydrogen that is blasting out ultraviolet radiation — about three times as much as any other galaxy from that time. The galaxy is also blazing with light from helium atoms that have been stripped of one

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