Dark matter tracks could give earliest view of Universe
Researchers have come up with a way to glimpse the infant Universe by decoding the earliest ripples in its light.
They say this can be achieved by capturing the specific radio wavelength of 21cm from the heavens.
The trick is to tell the difference between 21cm waves from our galaxy and those from distant, ancient sources.
The fact that "dark matter" moved faster than normal matter in the early Universe should help amplify the distant signal, they report in Nature.
That could yield a look at the Universe when it was just 1% of its current age.
The scientists first revealed their 3-D computer simulations on Monday at the Gamma Ray Bursts in the Era of Rapid Follow-up conference, hosted by Liverpool John Moores University.
The current record-holder for the oldest object ever spotted is a galaxy named UDFy-38135539, seen in an optical image captured by the Hubble telescope. Its light escaped more than 13 billion years ago, when the Universe was already a youth of less than 700,000 years.
Scientists measure these literally astronomical distances with the "redshift" of a given light source; it is a measure of how much the source's light is stretched as it races away from us in the ever-expanding Universe.