Scientists have found out, when lit up the first stars of the Universe

© N. R. Fuller, National Science FoundationТак the artist presented his first star in the UniverseScientists have found out, when lit up the first stars of the Universe© N. R. Fuller, National Science Foundation

. Observation of the «echo» of the Big Bang have helped scientists to find out what the first stars of the Universe erupted approximately 180 million years after its birth, which potentially indicates the presence of «new physics» in the behavior of the visible and dark matter, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.

«The opening of this subtle signal was a giant window into the early Universe for us. Telescopes basically can not get pictures so ancient and distant stars, but radio waves, generated at the time of their «awakening», will help us to know when it happened,» said Judd Bowman (Judd Bowman) from the University of Arizona in Tempe (USA).

As the scientists explain, the first stars of the Universe were quite similar to modern luminaries, as their bowels did not contain the astronomical «metals» – elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. Because of this, the sizes of such luminaries was virtually unlimited, so their weight could exceed the solar 300-400 times or even more, and they lived very long, a few hundred thousand or less than three million years.

While scientists are not sure when there are such stars and the first primitive galaxies. Early astrophysicists believed that it happened approximately 400-500 million years after the Big Bang when the universe became cold enough for the formation of neutral hydrogen molecules and combining them in a giant cloud of gas, where it is physically unable to form stars.

In recent years astronomers have begun to question this idea – the last observation with Hubble, VLT and many other telescopes show that the first stars and galaxies already existed in 300 and 250 million years after the Big Bang.

Bowman and his colleagues have pushed this date back 100 million years back in time, drawing attention to a common feature of the first stars of the Universe – they produced huge amounts of ultraviolet light, whose rays were splitting the surrounding molecules of hydrogen and made the universe transparent to other forms of light.

This process, as explained by astrophysicists, had another important consequence – free hydrogen atoms began to interact with the microwave background radiation of the Universe, an «echo» of the Big Bang, what was supposed to significantly reduce its intensity. After a while, when the ultraviolet light of the first stars split all the hydrogen molecules, these interactions stopped, as their beams began to knock out the electrons from the hydrogen atoms and to ionize it.

Invisible hand of dark matter

As a result, in the spectrum of the contemporary «echo» of the Big Bang must arise a kind of failure, the location of which will depend on when it appeared the first star. Using such considerations, Bowman and his colleagues tried to find traces of them, using radioobservatory Murchison in Australia and a special set of tools EDGES, designed to search for such a signal.

These observations have led to stunning and, according to participants, the revolutionary results. It turned out that the first stars appeared about 180 million years after the Big Bang, and that they completely «cleared» from the Universe of neutral hydrogen in a very short time, the next 70 million years.

Similar observations as noted astrophysicists do not fully correspond to theoretical ideas about how long was the «dark ages» of the Universe and how quickly it could cool off. This means that the matter of future stars in some mysterious way, has cooled faster than classical physics predicts, or that the echo of the Big Bang was much hotter than scientists believe now.

The Rennes Barkan (Rennan Barkana), an astrophysicist from tel Aviv University and one of the authors of the open, believes that the role of such «refrigerator» could play dark matter to interact more actively with her apparent «cousin» in the time of the birth of the first stars. If this is true, then dark matter particles must have unexpectedly low mass and speed.

In the near future, as the researchers note, their opening will be tested and re-confirmed several other projects that use similar methods of observation of the background radiation of the Universe. If the opening of the Bowman and his team are confirmed, then the cosmologists will have to completely revise all of the theory describing the birth of the Universe, its «dark ages» and what role dark matter played in the future distribution of galaxies in the universe.