By Peering Back into the Beginning of Time, a Satellite Finds

the Largest and Oldest Structures Ever Observed -- Evidence of How the Universe Took Shape 15 Billion Years Ago Echoes of the Big Bang

THEY WERE, BY FAR, THE LARGEST and most distant objects that scientists had ever detected: a swath of gargantuan cosmic clouds some 15 billion light-years from earth. But even more important, it was the farthest that scientists had ever been able to peer into the past, for what they were seeing were the patterns and structures that existed 15 billion years ago. That was just about the moment -- or more precisely, an infinitesimal 300,000 years after the moment -- that the universe was born. What the researchers found was at once both amazing and expected: NASA'S Cosmic Background Explorer satellite...

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