View a Colossal Telescopic Eye Into the Cosmic Past

View a Colossal Telescopic Eye Into the Cosmic Past

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Recently, one of the four 8.2-metre telescopes that make up the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope captured the brief but brilliant light of a distant explosion, a gamma-ray burst. The light from the burst passed through its host galaxy and another nearby galaxy before reaching Earth, providing Sandra Savaglio of the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and colleagues with a rare glimpse of the chemical make-up of galaxies that formed about 1.8 billion years after the big bang.

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