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Starts With A Bang Podcast #41: Before The First Stars

25 Feb 2019, 17:10 UTC
Starts With A Bang Podcast #41: Before The First Stars
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The LOFAR array can capture light from the 21cm emission line: corresponding to light emitted from neutral, isolated hydrogen atoms that don’t even need to be bound together into stars. (LOFAR collaboration)We can see light from the atoms in the Universe before the first stars form. And no, I don’t mean from the CMB!https://medium.com/media/9a70116407a09d449556ad3e80e0aa8d/hrefAfter the Big Bang, it took only a few hundred thousand years for the Universe to form neutral atoms. But it took tens or even hundreds of millions of years for the first stars to turn on, and a whopping 550 million years for those neutral atoms to all become reionized by that starlight once again.Believe it or not, we can measure not only the starlight coming from the stars that do form through the now-infrared light they emit, but also the neutral atoms themselves through the power of 21-cm astronomy. I’m joined this week by Dr. Elizabeth Fernandez, research astronomer, science communicator and podcaster extraordinaire on her show, SparkDialog. (Check it out, here.)How did the Universe grow up to be the way it is today? Take another spectacular step on the latest edition of the Starts With A Bang podcast.The Starts With A Bang podcast is ...

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