The space age is detected oxygen almost 13.3 billion years
In the long-predalekoy galaxy called MACS1149-JD1, located at 13, 28 billion light-years away, astronomers have found oxygen, which, in their opinion, could appear there after only 500 million years after the Big Bang. The scientists who wrote an article about the discovery in the journal Nature, they say that it is the earliest age of the universe on the scale of oxygen detection. Moreover, the researchers open galaxy has become the most distant galaxy with a reliably determined distance. Models suggest that the first stars began to form in her more than 13, 5 billion years ago.
After the Big Bang occurred in the universe complex process - first born quark, hadrons and other subatomic particles, followed by the first atoms appeared, which were included in the primary stellar matter. When there was a recombination of hydrogen and the universe began to cool, she fell into a "dark age." Had not yet lit the first stars were born and quasars - active galactic nuclei with supermassive black hole inside. This era ended with a "cosmic dawn" - the emergence of ancient galaxies that we register today. Their search is important to determine how the evolution of the universe and the basic chemical elements.
An international team of astronomers led by Takuya Hashimoto of the University of Sanyo in Osaka observed using ALMA telescope in a very distant galaxy MACS1149-JD1 and found a very faint glow of ionized oxygen. Due to the expansion of the universe originally wavelength infrared radiation during its travel in space has increased by more than tenfold. Redshift sources indicated that the registered scientists signal was emitted 13, 3 billion years ago, and after only 500 million years after the Big Bang. This is the greatest distance at which ever recorded oxygen, and its presence indicates that in this galaxy must exist and older generation stars. In addition to oxygen emission, registered at ALMA, the researchers noticed and weaker hydrogen emission by the VLT. The distance to the galaxy determined from these observations are consistent with that which was obtained by the oxygen line. Thus, MACS1149-JD1 is most distant galaxy with reliably determined distance and the farthest galaxy ever observed on the ALMA or VLT.
The first enlarged image shows that a galaxy MACS1149-JD1 saw VLT telescope of the European Southern Observatory; the second - then what this galaxy saw a space telescope "Hubble". White contours show the areas of ionized oxygen, which saw ALMA telescope
"We are seeing this galaxy at a time when the universe was only 500 million years old - and it turns out that at that time it was already inhabited by mature stars," - explains Nicolas Laporte, the second author of the paper.
"We can use this galaxy for sensing an earlier, completely unknown period of cosmic history."
for some time after the Big Bang the universe was no oxygen: it was the result of the synthesis process in the depths of the first stars and then, when the outbreak occurred supernovae, scattered in space. oxygen Registration MACS1149-JD1 shows that after only 500 million years after the beginning of the universe, these earliest generations of stars have already been formed and managed to produce a lot of oxygen. To find out when the first light began to emerge, the researchers reconstructed the early history of MACS1149-JD1 by infrared data obtained with telescopes "Hubble" and "Spitzer". It was found that the observed brightness of the galaxy model explains well, where the beginning of star formation belongs to the era after only 250 million years after the Big Bang. Thus today it is believed that the "dark ages" came through 377 million years after the birth of the universe - that is, it must be assumed that MACS1149-JD1 began to take shape as early as the epoch of recombination. Thus, MACS1149-JD1 makes scientists wonder about when the first galaxies emerged. Age of the open object indicates that they existed long before the era in which we are now able to register them.
In the past, the most distant oxygen was discovered in the galaxy, who was born 700 million years after the Big Bang. The amount, according to the researchers estimate, was approximately ten times smaller than the observed amount of oxygen in the sun.