|History of the Universe|
image ESO BBC Science
The theological relevance of this branch of cosmology is encapsulated in the first light
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."
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
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."
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