Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Search for the First Stars

01.03.2012
Recently, astronomers found two immense clouds of pristine gas, nearly 12 billion light years away – clouds that astronomers suspect are the stuff from which the first stars were born.

The Kavli Foundation spoke with three prominent researchers about this and other exciting findings that are moving scientists closer to understanding how the first stars and galaxies formed. This includes the realization that in early times, there were many more small, feeble galaxies than large luminous galaxies.

“If you were to take a space ship and go back to that point in cosmic time, you'd find that the sky is really ablaze with them – so many of them that their combined output is very significant,” said Richard Ellis, Steele Professor of Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. “These early objects are in fact very, very small – about a tenth the diameter of the Milky Way. And yet, they are forming stars more prodigiously than the galaxy we live in today.”

Discoveries such as these come as scientists focus on studying the gaseous “fingerprints” the early galaxies left on their surroundings – what’s called the intergalactic medium (IGM). “We know from these observations that after about one billion years all of this gas is ionized, and it's the galaxies that we think did this,” said George Becker, Fellow, the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. “The question that we are trying to answer is how and when it happened, and what these earliest galaxies were like.”

Said Avi Loeb, Chair of the Department of Astronomy and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation, Harvard University, “If we can map the distribution of galaxies and the hydrogen gas between them, in the IGM, we can see the relationship between the places where the galaxies are and the regions that were ionized… [This] gives us indirect evidence for the earliest galaxies. This new technique will enable us to directly study the galaxies that ionized that hydrogen gas.”

And what do researchers ultimately hope to uncover?

“[We] would like to understand how the galaxies that we see around us, including the Milky Way, came into existence,” said Loeb. “It's going back in time to our origins, in a sense. Religious texts try to address these questions, but now we are able to come up with a scientific version of the story of Genesis.”

For the full discussion visit: http://www.kavlifoundation.org/science-spotlights/searching-first-stars

James Cohen | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.kavlifoundation.org

Further reports about: Astronomy IgM Milky Way Semantic Search Engine hydrogen gas

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Astronomers see 'warm' glow of Uranus's rings
21.06.2019 | University of California - Berkeley

nachricht A new force for optical tweezers awakens
19.06.2019 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

Im Focus: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

'Sneezing' plants contribute to disease proliferation

24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Researchers find new mutation in the leptin gene

24.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>