Have astronomers found evidence of the universe’s first stars?

Scientists have long assumed that in the early days of the universe, outer space They are dominated by massive stars hundreds of times the mass of the Sun, and there may finally be evidence to prove their existence. In concert with the latest data on the oldest galaxies from the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers have more information about the origins of the universe than ever before. When humans stare at the night sky, the star field may appear homogeneous, but there is a wealth of diversity among them.

Today display

Our Sun, a G-dwarf main-sequence star, features a core that fuses hydrogen into helium, which will burn for the next billions of years. But our Sun will eventually evolve, as all stars do, and change shape during its lifespan. When our Sun runs out of hydrogen and then helium, it will expand so dramatically that it will in turn swallow up its inner planets, including Earth. It will go from a yellow dwarf star to a red giant, then a white dwarf, after which it will eventually fade into oblivion. This process, indeed complex, is still the life cycle of only one type of star, and it indicates how much there is to be known about the many types of stars that inhabit the universe. The older a type of star, the more likely it is to reveal the origins of the universe, but the more difficult it is to find reliable data.

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Now, a new research has been published in Astrophysical Journal Confirms that scientists have identified the effects of the explosive death of one of the first stars in the universe. Although approximations are constantly evolving, scientists currently estimate that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. Protostars are thought to have started forming when the universe was still young, which in this context means it was probably only 100 million years old, but concrete evidence of those stars has been difficult to obtain. An innovative new way to study quasars – young, distant galaxies that proliferate in the outer reaches of the observable universe – has led to the discovery of a distinctive chemical signature that may be the first definitive evidence of the oldest stellar planets.

We’re all made of Star Stuff, literally

The first stars, known as Population 3, were so massive that their short lives ended in an unstable supernova binary, a specific type of volcanic eruption that sends all of the star’s makeup through space without leaving behind a black hole, neutron star, or classic sign. Others are for more conventional supernovae. Because the first stars were completely decimated, astronomers must be especially careful investigators when searching for them, scouring the universe for minute chemical fingerprints.

Confirmation of this finding will require experts to replicate the findings. in press releaseCo-author Timothy Beers, an astronomer at the University of Notre Dame, noted that next steps include examining space closer to home for evidence of similar chemical traces. “We now know what to look for; We have a path He said.If this happened locally in the very early universe, which it should have done, we expect to find evidence of it.If such evidence is discovered, the scientific understanding of the origins of the universe will be presented in unprecedented detail. Observations for this study were made using NSF’s NOIRLab Gemini North Telescope, and astronomers can hope to learn more by pointing the James Webb Space Telescope in this way soon.

As Carl Sagan said, “We are all made of star stuff. “Our bodies are made of matter, and while that matter has been around for billions of years, it had to come from somewhere. Partly because of this, the origins of the universe have become an intriguing subject of fascination. If this discovery is confirmed, it clarifies our understanding of how this early matter was formed. outer spaceAnd how it evolved into the universe we know today with us in it.

source: Astrophysical JournalAnd the EurekAlert!

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