Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, a team of scientists at Carnegie Observatories has been able to study surprising images of the early universe, including so-called “rock ‘n’ roll” stars, which grew quickly and died young.

The team, led by Ivo Labb, were able to study dozens of different galaxies that were burning just 2 billion years after the Big Bang – at a time when the Universe was almost a fifth of how old it is now.

The surprising aspect of the study was the discovery of dead galaxies, which ran out of cold gas and were unable to produce new stars. They suffocate a lot earlier than expected. Earlier galaxies have also been found, but were too dense to study.