Cosmic dawn: astronomers detect signals from first stars in the universe

February 28, 2018
The first stars in the universe cartoon
TOTALLY LIT The first stars in the universe switched on by 180 million years after the Big Bang, radio observations indicate. Ultraviolet light from early, blueish stars (illustrated) interacted with hydrogen gas, causing it to absorb background radiation, and creating a signature scientists have now detected. N.R. FULLER/NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

"An experiment to estimate when stars began to form in the Universe suggests that gas temperatures just before stars appeared had fallen well below predicted limits, and that dark matter is not as shadowy as was thought."

"For the first time, scientists may have detected hints of the universe’s primordial sunrise, when the first twinkles of starlight appeared in the cosmos."  

"Stars began illuminating the heavens by about 180 million years after the universe was born, researchers report in the March 1 Nature. This “cosmic dawn” left its mark on the hydrogen gas that surrounded the stars (SN: 6/8/02, p. 362). Now, a radio antenna has reportedly picked up that resulting signature."

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See also: Faculty, Lecturer, 2018