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Monday, October 24, 2016

Scientists have found oxygen in the far corner of the Universe

Studying the galaxy SXDF-NB1006-2, located at a distance of more than 13 billion light-years from Earth, astrophysicists have detected a signal indicating the presence of oxygen in it. Earlier in such remote areas of space, this element could not detect. The discovery, made using the ALMA telescope, expected to answer some questions concerning the history of the early Universe.

photo: pixabay.com

The galaxy in question, was opened in 2012 by the telescope Subaru, owned by Japan’s National astronomical Observatory and is located in volcano in Hawaii. Initially, the team was able to detect traces of ionized hydrogen emission in SXDF-NB1006-2. However, further monitoring is conducted by specialists who work with the ALMA telescope, showed that in a distant galaxy is present and ionized oxygen.

The distance to SXDF-NB1006-2 implies that we see it for what it was 13.1 billion years ago — at that time our whole world was just less than 800 million years. The study of heavy elements that existed in those days, according to the researchers, allow them to better understand the formation process of stars in the early Universe. Under “heavy” astrophysics refers to all elements except hydrogen and helium. According to scientists, hydrogen, helium and lithium were the only elements that existed shortly after the Big Bang, then the Universe began to accumulate the heavier elements such as carbon and oxygen. The main reason that scientists believe the chemical processes that occur in stars.

It is expected that traces of oxygen, in particular, will help to find the answer to the question, as it happened, one of the Central events in the history of the Universe — reionization. To date, it is assumed that initially the world was filled with gas, the atoms had a neutral charge. Then he formed the first of the heavenly bodies, and processes of launched radiation, because of which these atoms were ionized. Although researchers agree that the events developed in this way, many of the details of this process remain shrouded in mystery.

Scientific publication on the discovery by scientists appeared in the journal Science.

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