What's up in

reionization

Cosmic reionization video.
Abstractions blog

How the Cosmic Dark Ages Snuffed Out All Light

March 2, 2020

The recent discovery of some of the first galaxies in the universe illuminates the darkest era in cosmic history.

Illustration for first stars
cosmology

Whisper From the First Stars Sets Off Loud Dark Matter Debate

March 29, 2018

A surprise discovery announced a month ago suggested that the early universe looked very different than previously believed. Initial theories that the discrepancy was due to dark matter have come under fire.

Magellan Baade telescope and CMB illustration
astrophysics

Earliest Black Hole Gives Rare Glimpse of Ancient Universe

December 6, 2017

It weighs as much as 780 million suns and helped to cast off the cosmic Dark Ages. But now that astronomers have found the earliest known black hole, they wonder: How could this giant have grown so big, so fast?

Light from the first galaxies clears the universe.
astrophysics

Discoveries Fuel Fight Over Universe’s First Light

May 19, 2017

A series of observations at the very edge of the universe has reignited a debate over what lifted the primordial cosmic fog.

Q&A

A Seeker of Dark Matter’s Hidden Light

September 1, 2016

The astrophysicist Tracy Slatyer is searching for faint wisps of dark matter annihilating in the early universe — and perhaps in hiding places closer to home.