Australian researchers found carbon in the air around old galaxies, indicating they lit the cosmos 13 billion years ago.
The Royal Astronomical Society's Monthly Notices study adds to the universe's past.
Large-scale gas burning during the Age of Reionization may have boosted warm gas carbon 13 billion years ago.
Warm carbon fivefolded in 300 million years, a cosmic blip.
The new study used larger samples to more accurately measure warm carbon growth.
We did that here. "We offer two explanations of this fast change," adds Dr. Davies.
First, there is more carbon in the cosmos, so galaxies have more carbon.
Dr. Davies says heavy elements are forming during the first stars and galaxies because we never had carbon before stars.
One cause for this fast rise may be that we're seeing the first generations of stars."