A supermassive black hole is depicted in this artist's concept, surrounded by a swirling disk of material falling onto it. The purplish ball of light above the black hole, a feature called the corona, contains highly energetic particles that generate X-ray light. The corona gathers inward, becoming brighter, before shooting away from the black hole. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Here's How Light May Have Burst Through the Universe and Out of the Dark Ages

Ancient black holes may have helped ultraviolet radiation escape from early stars, transforming the universe into the light-filled marvel we know today.

Published On 08/31/2017
3:35 PM EDT
H H ow was light able to burst out of the gloom of the cosmic "dark ages," approximately 500 million years after the Big Bang? New research may provide insight into one of the universe's longest standing mysteries, and the surprising hero in this story might be everyone’s favorite astronomical villain: black holes.
NASA/WMAP Science Team