In the most comprehensive survey of its kind, astronomers have been able to paint an accurate picture of the 'baby boom' which early galaxies went through over 10 billion years ago.
Compiling data that spans over 10 billion years and looking at over 2,000 snapshots of Milky Way-like galaxies, astronomers discovered that galaxies underwent a period of massive growth during which stars and solar systems were formed at 30 times the rate they are now.
Using this data, NASA has been able to create an artist's impression of how the night sky might have looked during this formative period.
Huge pink clouds of gas envelop newly forming stars while bright blue star clusters litter the rest of the night sky as solar systems are born.
This new research also suggests that had our own Sun been born any earlier then Earth may never have been formed. Thanks to its lateness to the cosmic 'party', the surrounding planets were able to use the abundance of materials that had been left behind by early expiring stars to form the basic building blocks for out planets as we see them today.