After the Big Bang, the rapidly expanding universe was filled with a hot soup of ionized gas, called a plasma. As time went on and the universe cooled, this plasma condensed into neutral atoms (mainly hydrogen, where one proton combines with an electron). Up until this point, the universe had no stars and no galaxies; there simply had not been enough time for stuff to clump together under gravity to create stars. This period was aptly named the "Dark Ages" because the only radiation that existed at that time was the background afterglow from the Big Bang itself, and it was rapidly becoming redshifted as the universe expanded. Redshift occurs when the expanding universe stretches light from short wavelengths to long wavelengths. … [Read more...] about Most Distant Black Hole Discovered, But Why Is It Such a Monster?