Astronomers see the farthest star

Hubble finds the single longest known star, in a history of 28 billion light years

Near the small plateau where Earendel falls right above the narrow line where the increase increases by (ten) thousand times. Many stars are seen to have moved slightly away from the line, resulting in a small increase but measured by gravity. Yes: NASA / ESA / Brian Welch (JHU) / Dan Coe (STScI) / Peter Laursen (DAWN).

Astronomers have seen the farthest star, the hottest and brightest giant, formed about 13 billion years ago at the dawn of Earth.

But this bright blue star was long gone, so large that it almost exploded in parts only millions of years after it came out. His rapid death was the most spectacular sight seen by a planet Earth under the Hubble Space Telescope. There are rays of light emitted from distant stars to reach us.

“We saw the star about 12.8 billion years ago, which is about 900 million years after the Big Bang,” said astronomer Brian Welch, a student doctor at Johns Hopkins University and lead author of the study released Wednesday. good book so so.

“We’re just lucky.”

It was called Earendel, an old English name for morning star or rising light— “an appropriate name for a star we saw at a time often called the Cosmic. Dawn. “

The first historian, Icarus, is a supergiant blue star seen by Hubble, formed 9.4 billion years ago. It was more than 4 billion years after the Big Bang.

Now, glitter: Astronomers see the farthest star

This image obtained by NASA on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, shows the star Earendel, represented by the arrow, and the Sunrise Arc galaxy, extending from bottom left to top right, with a bow due to a large galaxy connection between it and the Hubble Space Telescope that captured the light. The bulk of the galaxy is a magnifying glass, which can be seen as Earendel. (NASA, ESA, Brian Welch (JHU), Dan Coe (STScI); Image editing: NASA, ESA, Alyssa Pagan (STScI) via AP)

On both occasions, astronomers have used a technology called gravitational lensing to increase the brightness of small stars. The gravity from the clusters of galaxes near us – in the front – becomes a lens that magnifies small objects in the background. If not for that, Icarus and Earendel would not have been known because of their distance.

Although Hubble has observed the stages up to 300 million to 400 million years of the universe’s Big Bang, it is impossible to choose their stars.

“Normally, they’re all combined … But here, nature has given us this one star – high, magnified, magnified by thousands of stars – that can we learn, ”said NASA astrophysicist Jane Rigby, who participated. in teaching. “It’s a real gift from all over the world.”

Vinicius Placco of the National Science Foundation’s NOIRlab in Tucson, Arizona described what was seen as “amazing work.” He did not take part in the study.

According to Placco, based on Hubble data, Earendel may have been one of the first generation of stars to be born after the Big Bang. The upcoming information from the re -released James Webb Space Telescope will provide more details, he said, and “give us another piece of this cosmic sphere which is the evolution of our planet. our world. “

Current data show that Earendel is more than 50 times the size of our sun and is estimated to be 1 million times brighter, than Icarus. Earendel’s tiny home galaxy doesn’t look like the beautiful stars published by Hubble elsewhere, like Welch’s, but “it’s kind of ugly to look at, clumpy.” Unlike Earendel, he said, this galaxy may have survived, albeit in a different way after merging with other galaxies.

“It’s like a little picture in the amber of the past,” Rigby said.

Earendel may be the most important star in a double star, or a binary, system, or a triple or quadruple star system, Welch said. There is still a bit of a black hole, although the data gathered in 2016 and 2019 suggests otherwise, he said.

As a group, the star lasted millions of years before exploding as a supernova that was unseen for most, Welch said. The farthest supernova seen by astronomers to this day goes back 12 billion years.

The Webb telescope – 100 times more powerful than Hubble – should help explain the size and temperature of the star, and tell more about its parent galaxy.

Studying the stars, Rigby said: “We really knew where we came from because we did some of that stardust.”


Hubble finds the single longest known star, in a history of 28 billion light years


More information:
Brian Welch, Highlighted star in redshift 6.2, so so (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-022-04449-y. www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04449-y

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