Research NewsAstrophysics

A Glow From the First Galaxies?

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Science  17 May 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5264, pp. 950
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5264.950


A joint French-Dutch team may have uncovered a faint reddish glow from the cosmos's first generation of galaxies. These galaxies, too faint and distant to be seen directly, would have been shrouded in dust, which would have reradiated their light at infrared wavelengths. By carefully stripping away foreground sources of infrared radiation from data collected by the COBE satellite, the team found a uniform residual signal that it tentatively identified as this primordial glow. But because of the difficulty of this procedure, other astrophysicists are reserving judgment.