Scientists have caught a signal from the earliest stars in the universe
The early stage of the formation of the universe for the most part remains a mystery to modern science. But in the new study, published in the journal Nature, researchers led convincing arguments in favor when it began to form the very first stars. After the Big Bang, which occurred about 13, 7 billion years ago, the universe was dark, hot, and filled with elementary particles of high energy. After 380,000 years, the universe cooled enough so that the photons can exist in it. Just then there was the first cosmic microwave background (CMB), through which scientists were able to learn more about the origin of the universe.
The researchers suggested that examining the intensity of the cosmic microwave background, you can set the time when the first stars began to emerge. When stars begin to form, they are heated hydrogen gas permeating the universe. During heating, the gas absorbs CMB, causing its intensity decreases. To detect such abnormalities by conventional telescopes is not possible, but there is a science to the aid of radio signals. However, these signals are so weak that they are easily overrides any noise that can sometimes be in the tens of thousands of times stronger. As one of the researchers: "Finding such signals is similar to that as if you are in the midst of the storm, we tried to hear in all this roar rustle of hummingbird wings."
However, such difficulties have not stopped scientists. A team of researchers from the University of Arizona, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology decided to detect signals early star formation, and as incredible as it may sound, they got it. And they did all this with a relatively small antenna (see photo below). Antenna installed in one of the Australian desert, because in such places you can minimize radio interference from man-made. fortune smiled for the first time a scientist in 2016. It was then recorded the first fall of the intensity of the CMB. According to the findings, we can conclude that the first stars were formed about 180 million years after the Big Bang.
"It's very exciting, because the first time we were able to at least one eye to look at the most important period of the formation of our universe. It was then that began to form the first stars and galaxies. This is the first time that science has direct observational data from that era, "- shared his emotions Haystack Observatory director Colin Lonsdale.
A team of researchers spent more than a year, confirming their own conclusions made on the basis of the received signals. antenna position changes, use another calibration of measuring instruments. But at the same time each signal was observed, while it turned out to be two times more intense than originally expected. This proves that the hydrogen in the early universe was much colder than previously thought. Rennes Barkan researcher at Tel Aviv University, argues that explain the cold universe is dark matter.
The resulting research data still need to be confirmed by other experts in the field. Nevertheless, many scientists already had time to get acquainted with the results of the experiment experts from MIT and the University of Arizona, believes that opening it pulls to one, and even two Nobel prizes. First prize scientists can give for determining the age of the first stars, and the second - for the discovery associated with a cold hydrogen and dark matter, which is quite capable to expand the existing standard physical model. Get acquainted with research results at this link.