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LONG AGO, FAR AWAY. Gravity of the cluster Abell 1689 acts as a gravitational lens, bending into arcs and magnifying the light from remote background galaxies. One galaxy appears so remote that it doesn't show up in visible light (top, right) but only in the infrared (middle and bottom, right). L. Bradley & H. Ford/JHU, Bouwens & Illingworth/UCSC, NASA, ESA
The discoveries are important, notes Tim Heckman of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, because they probe a special time in the universe, when the cosmos changed from a place filled with neutral gas to a place ionized by the emergence of the first substantial population of stars and black holes.