Astronomers Discover a Big Bang fossil by using the powerful twin optical telescopes at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii, have used the light of a quasar to discover a relic cloud of gas in the distant universe.
Everywhere we look, the gas in the universe is polluted by waste heavy elements from exploding stars,” says Robert. “But this particular cloud seems pristine, unpolluted by stars even 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang.
If it has any heavy elements at all, it must be less than 1/10,000th of the proportion we see in our Sun. This is extremely low; the most compelling explanation is that it’s a true relic of the Big Bang
We targeted quasars where previous researchers had only seen shadows from hydrogen and not from heavy elements in lower-quality spectra. This allowed us to discover such a rare fossil quickly with the precious time on Keck Observatory’s twin telescopes.
Robert commented in astatement:
This is not the first fossil discovered, previously Astronomers discovered two clouds in 2011 by Michele Fumagalli of Durham University, John O’Meara recently named the new Chief Scientist at Keck Observatory, and J. Xavier Prochaska of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Both Fumagalli and O’Meara are co-authors on the new research.
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