Review Article | Published:

The formation of the first stars and galaxies

Nature volume 459, pages 4954 (07 May 2009) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Observations made using large ground-based and space-borne telescopes have probed cosmic history from the present day to a time when the Universe was less than one-tenth of its present age. Earlier still lies the remaining frontier, where the first stars, galaxies and massive black holes formed. They fundamentally transformed the early Universe by endowing it with the first sources of light and chemical elements beyond the primordial hydrogen and helium produced in the Big Bang. The interplay of theory and upcoming observations promises to answer the key open questions in this emerging field.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful for the hospitality of KITP, University of California Santa Barbara. This work was supported in part by NSF and NASA.

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Affiliations

  1. Astronomy Department, University of Texas, 2511 Speedway, Austin, Texas 78712, USA

    • Volker Bromm
  2. Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8568, Japan

    • Naoki Yoshida
  3. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA

    • Lars Hernquist
  4. Departments of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA

    • Christopher F. McKee

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Correspondence to Volker Bromm.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07990

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