Friday, February 6, 2015

New date for earliest stars

History of the Universe
image ESO  BBC Science

Another Space theology bookmark: In an article published in BBC Science&Environment Jonathan Amos explains the background and significance of the re-dating of first stars in early Universe. The text is clear and educational for general reader and a good starting point for understanding the issue. Highly recommended!

The theological relevance of this branch of cosmology is encapsulated in the first light

Genesis 1:3

Data that changed the dating of first stars

Fossil light from early universe. Cosmic Background radiation
image ESO/Planck BBC Science

"Scientists working on Europe's Planck satellite say the first stars in the Universe lit up later than was previously thought.

The team has made the most precise map of the "oldest light" in the cosmos.

Earlier observations of this radiation had suggested that the first generation of stars burst into life about 420 million years after the Big Bang.

The new Planck data now indicates they fired up around 560 million years after the Universe got going."
J. Amos

Earliest stars through re-ionisation

Artist's impression: The first stars would have been unwieldy behemoths that burnt brief but brilliant lives
image Stanford University BBC Science
"One of these would have been imprinted when the infant cosmos underwent a major environmental change known as re-ionisation.

It is when the cooling neutral hydrogen gas that dominated the Universe in the aftermath of the Big Bang was then re-energised by the ignition of the first stars.

These hot giants would have burnt brilliant but brief lives, producing the very first heavy elements. But they would also have "fried" the neutral gas around them - ripping electrons off the hydrogen protons."

To read the entire article click here.

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