Bad Astronomy | When the first universe exploded, they exploded



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It is interesting to note that this tie together in astronomy times. By studying a nearby star, astronomers have been able to decide that Very The first (and now long gone) universe exploded asymmetrically, sending out reliably strong narrow focused beams of matter moving at very nearly the speed of light!

How, then, is this stoned?

First, let's take a step back – about 13.4 billion years or so.

When the Universe was very young, the only elements in it were hydrogen, helium, and a little lithium. This was all in the form of gas strewn across space.

Over time, a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, the gas began to coalesce and form the very first stars. The stars are essentially all hydrogen and helium, because there is no iron, carbon, oxygen or anything else in the universe. In fact, much of astronomy dominates so much that astronomers are pushing all elements more heavily than hydrogen and helium in the meantime: metals. I know I wish they used a different word, but we are stuck with it now. Oxygen does not seem like a metal, but it is an astronomer. They simply use the word as normal people do.

Anyway, the heavier metals change the way the star shape and lives their lives; Missing the heavier elements of the first generation of stars can grow huge*, Hundreds of times the sun's load, maybe even a thousand times the sun's mass!

Like today, the first generation of star fused hydrogen in helium, and then on carbon in helium, producing metals in their hearts. The star burned their nuclear fuel completely rapidly, exploding in less than a million years. Expanded supernova debris, heavily enriched with elements, then slammed into the gas around the star, seeding them with carbon, nitrogen and other elements. Star born of that gas then started off its life metal-enriched.

Some of the second generation of star stars exploded, further increasing the amount of heavy elements in the universe. These are massive stars, but some stars born at this time are lower than the sun. Lower mass star converts their fuel into a more miserable fashion, alive for billions of years. Even tens of billions … which means they're still around. Today. Another 13 billion years, some of the ancient stars Still exist.

Find them astronomers looking for stars Completely Low abilities of difficult foundations. It's essentially impossible to make a star like this today, so if you find one you know it must be ancient.

Well. About 3,700 light-years away from Earth is a weak, relatively non-descript star called HR 1327-2326. It's a bit like the sun, though slightly less massive. It is also near the end of its long, long life, starting from its expansion into a red giant. Right now it's called a subject.

It was discovered in the Hamburg / ESO survey in 2005 by the astronomers looking for their old star. It is incredibly low in some metals; The number of iron in these stars is only 0.000006 times the sun!

Here's where things get fun. Zinc is an important metal for astronomers to learn antique stars. The first generation of super-massive stars probably made a lot of zinc in their cores, but it was deep down, near the star center. Models like the star do not show that when the star has gone supernova, the layer of star has not blasted; Instead, it collapsed with the rest of the stars' heart to form a black hole.

When examining him 1327-2326, they found that it had a tiny amount of zinc in it, about 0.00004 times the Sun's amount. However, that's still a lot more than you'd expect for such an old star! Where did the zinc come from?

Here's the pouring bit. Supernova's first generation of superstars made a great assumption: the stars exploded symmetrically; That is, the debris flew off as an expanding sphere. One reason for this is that it's easier to model in a computer; You just have to worry about one dimension (the radiation direction away from the center, if the expansion is perfectly spherical it can be described using only that).

But what if the explosion is not spherical? We know that some stars explode off-center, for example. And even more critically, some star rotating rapidly, and when their heart collapses, the rotation of the brain increases (think of an ice skater spinning with their arms extended, then bringing their arm around in their spins). Increasing the spin is the material falling into the heart to flatten itself in a disk, and when that happens, the explosion can be focused, driving two tightly focused beams and energy up and down, screaming from the heart. The top of the plinths of the star, tearing it apart, and even holding the beams; Dead Rays Marshing across the Universe.

Nowadays, we have called such a gamma-ray crack event, and one of the most powerful and terrifying things the cosmos can produce.

But they can also save the day! Because they start deep down inside the stars, they can push material out that would otherwise be locked up at the heart … including zinc. And sure enough, models that include breaking can produce the right amount to account for what is seen in 1327-2326.

Hurray! And that's like an ancient anemic (huh, literally) star near the sun, as even more ancient massive stars exploded at the dawn of the universe. Neat.

But wait! It's a More Thing!

The beams from blasting away from the first star are incredibly powerful, and hard to keep. Moreover, the universe was smaller then, so they were closer together. It turns out that the stars may have a far-off gas cloud, far away from them, dusting them with heavy metals. Now, billions of years of universal expansion later, the clouds May be in different galaxies, But still staring at the same star.

I would love to see someone counting the odds of atom or two of one of the long-dead and cosmically distant stars in our bodies. It is cool enough for us atoms of supernova and kilonoveae in us; It is even cooler.

As Karl Sagen said, we are star stuff. But it turns out, perhaps more accurately, that we are stars & # 39; Stuff.


*There are complex physical reasons for this, but some of the metals in the star trap produce the energy that makes the star hotter. If a star comes too massive it gets so hot it will separate itself; The most massive star in the universe is out in a 100 or so times the sun, and are incredibly rare.

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