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Tuned in to new noise from the cosmos

Radio static could be from earliest stars, black holes

LONG BEACH, Calif. — When astronomers launched a balloon-borne experiment from Palestine, Texas three summers ago, they expected to find a faint radio signal from the slight warming of interstellar space by an early generation of stars. Instead, Al Kogut of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and his colleagues discovered a booming, uniformly distributed radio noise six times louder than anyone had predicted.

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