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News Release Archive:

News Release 197 of 967

October 7, 2010 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-31

Hubble Astronomers Uncover an Overheated Early Universe

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Image: Helium Reionization in the Early Universe

Helium Reionization in the Early Universe

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This ultraviolet-light data from the Hubble Space Telescope's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph shows strong helium II absorption and transmission lines from a quasar, identifying an era 11.7 to 11.3 billion years ago when electrons were stripped from primeval helium atoms — a process called reionization.

Object Names: HE 2347-4342, QSO B2347-4342

Image Type: Astronomical/Illustration

Credit: Shull et al., ApJ, 722: 1312-1324, October 20, 2010

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