ScienceIQ.com: Cool science facts delivered daily to your email


 Facts By Category:


 » Physics
 » Astronomy
 » Chemistry
 » Biology
 » Mathematics
 » Geology
 » Engineering
 » Medicine
 » Science

  by keyword search:

    
 ScienceIQ Team:


 »Writers & Editors



xUmp.com
Science Supplies,
Toys & Gifts

PhysLink.com
Physics & Astronomy
Online
The First Starlight


Color image of the Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038/4039) Imagine being able to see our Universe 14 billion years ago when it was just a baby. If we had a time machine, we could go back and watch how its infant features emerged after the Big Bang. There are many questions about that early time: Which came first, stars or galaxies? Did stars appear one at a time, or in massive flurries of simultaneous creation? Scientists have theories, but how wonderful it would be to actually look back in time and see for certain.

Well believe it or not, time machines do exist -- they're called telescopes. Astronomers who peer through them see stars and galaxies not as they are now, but as they appeared when the starlight began its journey. Through telescopes, astronomers can 'travel' billions of years into the past.

Astronomer Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology recently used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to travel backwards nearly to the time of the Big Bang itself. He and his colleagues went in search of newborn stars -- the first ones to appear in our Universe. Ellis explains: 'At some point a billion or so years after the Big Bang, gravitational attraction caused the gas that filled the Universe to collapse and form the first stars. Searching for signs of those stars, which we call First Light, is one of the most interesting challenges in modern astronomy.

Fact Credit:
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Science @ NASA

Further Reading
The Extravagant Universe: Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Accelerating Cosmos
by Robert P. Kirshner


Related Web Links
Down To Earth Astronomy
by Hubble Home Page

Gravitational Lensing
by Pete Newbury





Home | Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2002-2016 ScienceIQ.com - All Rights Reserved