Thursday, March 29, 2018

A Tantalizing Signal From the Early Universe - UNIVERSE

The astronomy community is buzzing over radio telescope measurements that could indicate radiation from the universe's first stars, a mere 180 million years after the Big Bang. The signal, detected by radio antennae situated in the Australian desert, does not match theoretical predictions of what those early stellar signatures would look like.

That's both exciting and worrying: It could mean that hydrogen atoms in the early universe were interacting with cold, lightweight particles of dark matter. But it also could mean that the signal is the result of instrument calibration errors or other factors. Other radio observatories should be able to chime in over the next couple of years to confirm or refute the new results.


Journal article (under paywall):

This handout photo released by Nature on February 28, 2018 shows a timeline of the universe, updated to show when the first stars emerged reflecting a recent discovery by researchers at Arizona State University that the first stars emerged by 180 million years after the Big Bang.

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