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Roger's Equations

This blog is all about science and technology (with occasional math thrown in for fun). The goal of this blog is to try and pass on the sense of excitement and wonder I feel when I read about these topics. I hope you enjoy the posts.

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Population III Stars

Posted June 28, 2015 8:09 PM by Bayes

Stars of the Early Universe

Scientists believe that the first generation of stars that formed after the big bang were likely very large, very hot, and consisted mostly of hydrogen, helium and perhaps a tiny bit of lithium. Why only those three elements? Because larger elements didn't exist yet. It would take the fusion within these population III stars to create the heavier elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, etc which we find throughout the more recent universe (population II and I stars).

Up until recently these stars were merely conjecture, derived from computer models based on our understanding of cosmology. Simply put, as the early universe expanded after the big bang, the quark-gluon plasma that was the whole of the universe gradually cooled forming protons and neutrons, which in turn later formed mostly hydrogen and some helium. As the universe further expanded and cooled, the hydrogen and helium started to clump together to form the first stars, population III stars.

Now it is being reported that these first generation stars might have been sighted. Here is a article about it from Science:

Astronomers spot first-generation stars, made from big bang

A team of astronomers has found the best evidence yet for the very first generation of stars, ones made only from ingredients provided directly by the big bang. Made of essentially only hydrogen and helium, these so-called population III stars are predicted to be enormous in size and to live fast and die young. Until recently, many astronomers had thought they would never be able to see such stars, because they would have all burned and died in the universe's early history-too far for us to see. But using new instruments on the world's top telescopes, the team found a uniquely bright galaxy that seems to bear all the hallmarks of containing population III stars.

"The evidence is strong. They did a careful job," says Avi Loeb, chair of Harvard University's astronomy department. Theorists predict that the clouds of gas in the early universe would have remained relatively warm from the big bang and so would resist condensing down to form stars. Mixing in a small amount of heavier elements helps gas clouds cool, because those elements are easier to ionize and so shed heat as radiation. But those heavy elements hadn't yet formed in the early universe, so stars grew to enormous sizes-hundreds or even a thousand times as big as our sun-before their cores were dense enough to spark fusion. Once they did get started, they burned fast and hot, emitting lots of ultraviolet light and burning out in a few million years. It was such burning that created the heavier elements that now populate the universe. Fusion in the cores of stars meld light atoms into heavier ones, all the carbon, oxygen, iron, and everything else needed to make dust clouds, planets, and life. These heavier elements are scattered around when a star ends its life and explodes. So all the gas that exists in the universe now has a smattering of heavier elements, which allow it to cool more easily. As a result, stars tend to be smaller, burn less brightly, and live longer than their ancient forebears.

Article Continues Here

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Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 118
Good Answers: 15
#1

Re: Population III Stars

06/30/2015 3:08 AM

Very interesting!

But what about the CR4 galaxy?

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Guru

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 748
Good Answers: 64
#2

Re: Population III Stars

06/30/2015 3:21 PM

Nice conjecture.

If this ... and what if ... over hundreds of millions of years out of nothing, through random chance we get intricate and highly developed life. Oh yah, that's believable.

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