Astronomers have discovered an incredibly ancient star that was born at the dawn of the formation of the Universe.
In the halo of the milky Way circling the tiny ancient star under the name J0023 + 0307. On the one hand, it is quite ordinary celestial body, but if you examine it more closely — suddenly it turns out that she has no carbon footprint, which could keep track of astronomers. It’s so strange that the team of researchers that discovered the star, even said that it “simply must not exist,” writes Popular mechanics.
Now they have discovered one amazing fact. Apparently, the star is full of lithium. In itself this circumstance the old stars are often, however J0023 + 0307 formed in the first 300 million years after the Big Bang, right after beginning to die the very first generation of stars. And here it gets weird.
When the universe was formed (scientists adhere to the theory that it happened about 13.8 billion years ago), naturally formed only the very lightest elements. Among them hydrogen and helium, and very small amount of lithium and perhaps beryllium. The process by which these elements are formed from the primary sea of neutrons, protons, electrons, positrons, photons and neutrinos, is called nucleosynthesis the Big Bang.
In turn, the heavier elements came later. They are formed inside the first stars under the influence of enormous pressure and temperature. Later, when the first generation of stars lived, these elements were released into the outer space and captured by newborn stars. Due to this circumstance, astronomers can quite accurately establish the age of a particular star. If the star there is a large amount of heavy elements (such lights are the acronym EMP, or stars with low metal content) — that is a clear sign that the star was formed back in the days when the Universe simply did not exist for these substances.
The iron content in J0023 + 0307 1000 times less than that of the Sun, which makes her a star with one of the lowest iron content among the famous stars. The lithium content in it is about the same as all the other related stars. It’s very strange: usually at enormous temperatures necessary for fusion of hydrogen within stars, lithium is simply destroyed. Science is aware of the larger stars, the lithium inside which somehow is held in the colder, outer layers of gas. But in the small, hot stars, lithium is usually completely absent.
The scientists have an assumption that the temperature of the ancient stars with low metal content is lower than in the younger. Probably J0023 + 0307 contains the lithium atoms that were formed in the process of nucleosynthesis the Big Bang. If this theory is correct, then in the future they can help us to shed some light on the greatest secret of the Universe — the secret of her birth.