JAPAN: One of the first stars that emerged when the universe was only 100 million years old and later burst in a supernova may have left behind a chemical imprint, according to astronomers.
Researchers examined the gas surrounding the 13.1 billion-year-old quasar’s chemical makeup and discovered chemical elements that most likely arrived on Earth as a result of the explosion of one of the very first stars.
According to a report, these hypothetical stars, which are a part of stellar population III, first existed only 100 million years after the universe’s creation.
Stellar population III refers to the stars that are believed to have formed at the beginning of the universe. Supernova explosions caused them to vanish from the cosmos.
The Universe was filled with chemical elements as a result of these explosions, and fresh generations of stars and planets later emerged from these elements. But up until now, there hasn’t been any concrete proof that one of the earliest Population III stars even exists.
However, a team of scientists has now revealed their research. It claims that the gas shell surrounding the quasar, which is located 13.1 billion years away (meaning it was only 700 million years old when the Big Bang occurred), may have the remnants of one of the first stars in the universe.
The early stars, which were hundreds of times heavier than the Sun and had a brief lifespan compared to the sun, are now thought by scientists to have long since vanished.
In the past, researchers used the Gemini Observatory Telescope North in Hawaii to examine the extremely far-off quasar ULAS J1342 +0928, which is an active galactic centre that surrounds a supermassive black hole.
“We investigated the chemical make-up of the gas cloud that encircles the quasar and theorised that it acquired the material from the supernova explosion of one of the first stars in the universe”, According to Yuzuru Yeshi from the University of Tokyo.
“It was a unique explosion in which there was no black hole or neutron star formed and all of the star’s material was propelled into space”, he added.
According to researchers, the iron and magnesium concentration in the gas cloud is ten times higher than that of our Sun. A star that was roughly 300 times more massive than the Sun created this ratio of these components during a supernova explosion.
Yeshi claims that the quasar ULAS J1342+0928 contains the remains of a stellar population III star, which is one of the very first stars in the universe, due to the special composition of heavy elements.
It is believed that the same relics of the very first stars that vanished billions of years ago may be found with the assistance of fresh measurements of ancient quasars.