Stars

Astronomers find the first stars of the universe

After an intensive, many-year search, a research team found traces of the very first stars in the universe. The discovery changes their view of the early days of the universe.

This is how the first stars might have looked.

© N.R.Fuller, National Science Foundation

The universe probably originated with a giant explosion. But then it became quiet ... very quiet.

According to the theories of astrophysicists, the universe was completely shrouded in darkness for almost 200 million years after the big bang. Only then did the hydrogen atoms get close enough together to ensure that the fusion hearts of the first stars began to beat.

And now a team of astronomers has found traces of the very first stars that emerged around 13.5 billion years ago.

Stars are invisible

The team made the sensational discovery with the help of the EDGES telescope: a radio telescope the size of a dining table that can accommodate changes in wavelengths of light and radiation.

EDGES telescope in Australia

Even the largest telescopes are not powerful enough to see the light of ancient, distant stars. That is why the astronomers looked for traces left by the stars.

The small radio telescope is perfectly suited for that purpose. He measures the so-called redshift in the cosmic background radiation, which shows the wavelengths of the radiation.

Cold in the young universe

According to scientific theories, the redshift of the first stars must have a wavelength of 21 centimeters, and the recently discovered star trails have exactly that length.

The first studies, published in Nature, indicate that the young universe was much colder than expected and that the earliest stars radiated a blue light.

Video: How the First Stars Transformed the Universe (January 2020).

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