Astronomers Are Closing in on The Precise Moment The Universe Lit Up

Astronomers Are Closing in on The Precise Moment The Universe Lit Up

by Evan Gough, ScienceAlert

A team of scientists working with the Murchison Widefield Array (WMA) radio telescope are trying to find the signal from the Universe’s first stars. Those first stars formed after the Universe’s Dark Ages.

To find their first light, the researchers are looking for the signal from neutral hydrogen, the gas that dominated the Universe after the Dark Ages.

It took a while for the first stars to form. After the Big Bang, the universe was extremely hot; too hot for atoms to form. Without atoms, there could be no stars.

It wasn’t until about 377,000 years after the Big Bang that the Universe had expanded and cooled enough for atoms to form, mostly neutral hydrogen with a little helium. (And traces of lithium.) After that, the earliest stars started to form, during the Epoch of Reionization.

Read the full article here…

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