For the First Time Scientist Detected Universe’s Early Stars – And They Are Amazing! (PHOTO)

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For the first time ever scientists have detected traces of the earliest light in the universe that came from the stars that formed less than 180 million years after the Big Bang.

Keep on reading to find out how the first stars looked like.

‘Fingerprint’ of first light

For millions of years after the Big Bang, the universe was a cold dark place filled with hydrogen and helium created at the dawn of the universe. This period is known by scientists as Cosmic “Dark Ages.”

first-stars-timeline-photo

As the universe expanded, the soup of ionized plasma created by the Big Bang slowly began to cool and form neutral hydrogen atoms, say physicists. Eventually, these were pulled together by gravity and ignited to form stars.

The new study, published in Nature journal on February 28, said researchers found the “fingerprint” of the universe’s first light as background radiation left on hydrogen.

“This is the first time we’ve seen any signal from this early in the Universe, aside from the afterglow of the Big Bang,” Judd Bowman, an astronomer at Arizona State University who led the work, said in a statement.

“Finding this minuscule signal has opened a new window on the early universe,” Judd Bowman said.

“Telescopes cannot see far enough to directly image such ancient stars, but we’ve seen when they turned on in radio waves arriving from space,” he said.

Here’s an illustration of how the earliest stars in the universe might have looked like:

first-star-photo

Source: NSF

“It’s very exciting to see our baby stars being born,” Keith Bannister, the astronomer at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), told CNN.

“(Although) we can’t see the stars themselves, we’re seeing the effect they have on the gas around them.”

How they did it

The discovery was made at a radio telescope in Western Australia, the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, operated by the CSIRO. This special telescope is able to detect the faint signals from the first stars because of its remote location, far from radio signals created by humans.

What Bowman and his colleagues saw in the data appeared to confirm that those first stars formed just 180 million years after the Big Bang.

earliest-stars-cisro-exlarge-photo

Source: CSIRO Australia

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For the First Time Scientist Detected Universe's Early Stars - And They Are Amazing! (PHOTO)
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For the First Time Scientist Detected Universe's Early Stars - And They Are Amazing! (PHOTO)
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For the first time ever scientists have detected traces of the earliest light in the universe that came from the stars that formed less than 180 million years after the Big Bang. Keep on reading to find out how the first stars looked like.
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