Star light, star bright, the first stars have actually been glimpsed—or at least their light has, reports Space.com. Astronomers in California studied massive black holes, called blazars, that give off huge amounts of light while swallowing up matter—and were able to separate out a glow from what they believe were the first stars in existence. Those ancient stars were probably huge, dwarfing our sun by hundreds of times, and burning out faster than a star would today.
The first stars have left only a glow, but scientists think it dates back to just after the big bang, when the universe was only 600 million years old (an infant, relatively speaking). The development may help scientists understand the early formation of stars, and in coming years they hope to glimpse the actual astral giants themselves. (Read more star stories.)