T he first light which ever shone in the universe has been detected by astronomers scouring the skies for the earliest stars. Using a simple radio antenna positioned in the quietest place on Earth – the western Australian desert – scientists picked up a signal of the long-sought 'cosmic dawn.' The breakthrough was described as 'revolutionary', 'trailblazing' and the most important discovery in astronomy since the detection of gravitational waves in 2015. It shows that the first stars appeared 180 million years after The Big Bang, which occurred 13.7 billion years ago. Before then the universe existed in a pitch-black emptiness of gases which scientists refer to as the 'dark ages.' But as stars began to burst into life, the skies were lit for the first time, and a host of new elements were created in the huge furnaces which would eventually allow life to form on Earth.
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