Australian-led astronomers find the essential star that is iron-poor the Galaxy, hinting at the nature of the first stars in the Universe.
A newly discovered ancient star containing a record-low quantity of iron carries evidence of a class of even older stars, long hypothesised but assumed to own vanished.
In a paper published into the journal Monthly Notices of this Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, researchers led by Dr Thomas Nordlander of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions (ASTRO 3D) confirm the existence of an ultra-metal-poor giant that is red, found in the halo regarding the Milky Way, on the reverse side associated with the Galaxy about 35,000 light-years from Earth.
Dr Nordlander, from the Australian National University (ANU) node of ASTRO 3D, along with colleagues from Australia, the US and Europe, located the star utilising the university’s dedicated SkyMapper Telescope at the Siding Spring s Observatory in NSW.
Spectroscopic analysis indicated that the star had an iron content of just one single part per 50 billion.
“That’s like one drop of water in an Olympic swimming pool,” explains Dr Nordlander.
“This incredibly anaemic star, which likely formed just a few hundred million years after the major Bang, has iron levels 1.5 million times less than compared to the Sun.”
The very first stars in the Universe are believed to have consisted of only hydrogen and helium, along with traces of lithium. These elements were created in the immediate aftermath associated with the Big Bang, while all heavier elements have emerged from the heat and pressure of cataclysmic supernovae – titanic explosions of stars. Continue reading “Anaemic star carries the mark of the ancient ancestor”