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A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Potential first traces of the universe's earliest stars uncovered

Credit: Getty images

Distant quasar provides evidence of first-generation star that died in 'super-supernova' explosion

Astronomers may have discovered the ancient chemical remains of the first stars to light up the universe. Using an analysis of a distant quasar observed by the 8.1-meter Gemini North Telescope, located on Hawaii, the scientists found an unusual ratio of elements that, they argue, could come only from the debris produced by the all-consuming explosion of a 300-solar-mass first-generation star. The work was supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation. Gemini North is operated by NSF's NOIRLab. The very first stars likely formed when the universe was only 100 million years old, less than 1% of its current age. These first stars were so massive that, when they ended their lives as supernovae, they tore themselves apart and seeded interstellar space with a distinctive blend of heavy elements.

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