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Bright ancient galaxies offer rare glimpse of early universe

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WASHINGTON — A quartet of galaxies spied with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are among the oldest yet discovered — more than 13 billion years old, born just 500 million years after the big bang. They’re also incredibly bright, so luminous that they offer a new peek into the early universe.

The findings provide hope that NASA’s infrared-optimized James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018, will be able to see even more from this obscure era in the universe’s history.

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