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Seeing Star Birth and Death in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

18 May 2018, 19:27 UTC
Seeing Star Birth and Death in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The First Generation of Stars in a Distant Galaxy
A galaxy cluster called MACS J1149.5+2223 (an HST image) shows the location of a more distant galaxy called MACS1149-JDD1. It’s where ALMA looked to detect oxygen from some of the earliest stars ever created.NASA/ESA/STScI
You know, this one just writes its own headline when astronomers use a very cool radio telescope to look at a distant galaxy for evidence of the first stars. Astronomers using the Atacama Large-Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), spotted evidence of chemical elements created by the earliest stars, objects that lie 13.28 billion light-years away. That’s a long ways away, and since it takes light
time to travel all those light-years, it’s also a long, long, long time ago.
Early Star and Galaxy Elements
Galaxies in the early universe ionized the gas between the stars — a period known as the Epoch of Reionization or Cosmic Dawn. The galaxy observed by ALMA would have been one of these galaxies. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; S. Dagnello
The early universe was a very different place from the cosmos we know today. It had few stars, no chemical elements beyond hydrogen, helium, and traces of lithium. What it needed was time…and the formation of ...

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