Astronomers claim they've seen light from some of the universe's first stars through world's biggest telescope on Big Island.
By magnifying the telescope's range, the scientists said they were able to see light generated by galaxies 13 billion years ago, when the universe was only 500 million years old. At that time, the universe was still in its "Dark Ages'' because hydrogen atoms hadn't broken apart and stars hadn't yet formed.
"We have detected six faint star-forming galaxies,'' said graduate student Dan Stark. "We estimate the combined radiation output of this population could be sufficient to break apart the hydrogen atoms in space at that time, thereby ending the Dark Ages.''
The astronomers said they were able to push the telescope to its limits by using a gravitational lens.