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When the first stars in the Universe exploded, they *really* exploded

10 May 2019, 13:00 UTC
When the first stars in the Universe exploded, they *really* exploded NASA/Dana Berry/Skyworks Digital

It’s weird how things tie together in astronomy sometimes. By studying a nearby star, astronomers have been able to determine that the very first (and now long gone) stars in the Universe exploded asymmetrically, sending out ridiculously powerful narrowly focused beams of matter moving at very nearly the speed of light!

How was this sorcery accomplished?

First, let’s take a step back — about 13.4 billion years or so.

When the Universe was very young, the only elements in it were hydrogen, helium, and a little bit of lithium. This was all in the form of gas strewn across space.

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