Professor Michael Gladders from Chicago said: “The universe is full of things that emit x-rays, and up until now, being able to pick out something like this has been completely out of reach of today’s telescopes.

“This is a glimpse of what we’ll be able to see routinely with the next generation of telescopes.”

Dr Bayliss added: “With this technique, we could, in the future, zoom in on a distant galaxy and age-date different parts of it—to say, this part has stars that formed 200 million years ago, versus another part that formed 50 million years ago, and pick them apart in a way you cannot otherwise do.”

The astronomers are certain the discoveries will help scientists better understand what the universe was like at such a young age.


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