We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:47 PM
Researchers build computer simulation that shows a way to detect the birth of the first stars
In the model astrophysicists and astronomers use to describe the history of the universe, the Big Bang is used as the ultimate starting point, which is believed to have occurred some 13.7 billion years ago. After that, things grow a little murkier as at some point atoms were formed, then stars, and then entire galaxies. The timeline for these formations has been difficult to gauge though as there is so little evidence for researchers to look at; still most agree that the first stars likely appeared somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred million years after the Big Bang. Now a team of researchers has found that in creating a simulation on a computer, as they describe in their paper published in the journal Nature, they might have found a way to detect the signature of the very first stars to have formed.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001