Astronomers found the universe’s first stars

The universe’s first known stars have been identified by astronomers. They date almost to the dawn of time – around 13.7 billion years ago. Studying their remains will shed fresh light on the early cosmos.

An Italian team identified the ashes using the Very Large Telescope in Chile.

They used light from quasars – incredibly bright objects at the centers of distant galaxies – to detect their existence.

Lead author Professor Stefania Salvadori, of Florence University in Italy, said:

“Our discovery opens new avenues to indirectly study the nature of the first stars.”

Quasars are black holes with energetic jets beaming out from two sides.

As the light propagates it passes through clouds of gas that absorb certain wavelengths depending on what elements they contain.

The researchers used this absorption to pick out three distant gas clouds nearly 25 billion light years away with strange chemical signatures.

They observed them as they appeared over 11 billion years ago – around two billion years after their birth, reports New Scientist.

Gas clouds are often left behind after a star explodes in a supernova – blasting away its contents.

But astronomers expect some of the first stars wouldn’t have exploded completely – leaving their cores and the heavier elements inside intact.

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Acerca de Andrey Robles

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