Scientists estimate the age of the Universe at 13.8 billion years. But when the first stars? The answer managed to learn a few years ago – according to a study published in the journal , the first of the heavenly bodies lit up after 180 million years after the Big Bang. In fact, scientists still can't say with certainty exactly when were born the first stars and galaxies, but there is every reason to believe that it happened 400-500 million years after the Big Bang – then it became cold enough for the formation of neutral hydrogen molecules and combining them in a giant cloud of gas in which stars are formed. But could some stars formed even earlier, shortly after the Big Bang?
Let's Start with the fact that the age of our Universe were able to establish only in 1929, after the American astronomer , in addition to our galaxy in the vast Universe there are others. Moreover, all these objects are removed from each other. Hubble realized that dividing the distance between galaxies at the speed of their removal from each other, you can calculate how long ago they were at one point.
Of Course, this is a rough estimate of the age of the Universe. For greater accuracy it is necessary to consider that due to the mutual attraction of the galaxy a few «slow down», and the recently discovered dark energy, on the contrary, accelerates. the Latest estimate of the age of the Universe – according to the data of the spacecraft "Planck", is 13.8 billion years. It managed to establish through discovery the cosmic microwave background radiation or CMB.
CMB is the thermal radiation that uniformly fills the Universe. It is believed that it originated in the era of primary recombination of hydrogen in the early Universe.
But how to determine the age of stars? As explained by scientists, the iron content of the star is a good indicator of its age. It is important to understand that during the first two years of existence, the Universe, stars consisted mostly of hydrogen and helium. However, in larger stars of various elements like silicon and iron are formed by nuclear synthesis. Through this process, the atomic nuclei of lighter elements fuse together to create heavier.
This is interesting:
Once the star becomes a supernova, the explosion spreads the elements throughout the Universe, turning them into building blocks of the new star formations. Let me remind you that supernova is a phenomenon in which the brightness of the massive star increases by 4-8 orders of magnitude, after which there is a slow fade.
Scientists believe that found one of the most ancient in the Universe
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According to the study published in the journal , the researchers were able to discover the oldest star in the Universe. As the authors of scientific work, a team of astronomers observed the star, which may well be almost as old as the universe itself. According to scientists, the red giant, which will soon become a supernova, the lowest level of iron compared to other currently known stellar objects.
Extremely low content of iron in the red giant has led researchers to the conclusion that a star is born in a time when other stars in the Universe did not contain such a number of elements, as it is today. The authors also draw attention to the fact that the star is in its last stages of its evolution, a massive red giants usually end up with a supernova, and then become either neutron stars (), or quanta collapse into the dark black holes. Space is a very mysterious place.
The Star, which was discovered by an international team of researchers, has been identified as SMSS J160540. 18-144323.1. it is Noteworthy that it is located within the milky Way galaxy and is located some 35 000 light-years from Earth. Watching the star, scientists have discovered that it contains the lowest level of iron of all known stars in the galaxy.
This red giant is the oldest star in the milky Way galaxy.
Thus, the discovery suggests that SMSS J160540.18-144323.1 belongs to the ancient group of stars, who can be traced back to the Big Bang, the main space of the event that created the universe 13.8 billion years ago.
This incredibly anemic star, which probably formed only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, is the level of iron in 1.5 million times lower than that of the Sun. It's like one drop of water in the Olympic pool.
The study's Lead author .
If we sum up briefly the results of the latest research, is obviously three things: first, the star SMSS J160540.18-144323.1 soon use up all the fuel that feeds it and goes supernova; second, scientists still can't say exactly when the Universe appearedthe first stars. But it also means that future research will undoubtedly help to find the answer to this question; and thirdly, the star SMSS J160540.18-144323.1 is the oldest in our own galaxy.
Could the first stars in the Universe occur before the Big Bang.
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