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News Release Archive:

News Release 56 of 84

August 9, 2001 02:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2001-27

New View of Primordial Helium Traces the Structure of Early Universe

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Image: Fuse View of Primordial Helium Traces the Structure of Early Universe

Fuse View of Primordial Helium Traces the Structure of Early Universe Artist's Concept

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

As the universe evolves, density fluctuations in the intergalactic gas (hydrogen and helium) grow into clumps and filaments under gravity's pull. The densest clumps form galaxies and quasars whose radiation energizes (ionizes) the remaining intergalactic gas.

Observations using NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) reveal the structure of ionized helium that traces the lowest density regions of the intergalactic medium.

Image Type: Illustration

llustration Credit: A. Feild, F. Summers and G. Kriss (STScI)