A radio telescope in Australia has detected what is being called the “fingerprint” of the first light ever to emerge after the Big Bang.
The discovery has knocked back the time scientists had previously believed the ‘dark age’ of the universe ended just after the Big Bang and just before the first light appears.
|Scientists detect ‘fingerprint’ of first light ever in the universe|
Scientists have detected traces of the earliest light in the universe thought to emanate from the first stars formed after the Big Bang, billions of years ago.
The new report, published in Nature on February 28, said researchers found the “fingerprint” of the universe’s first light as background radiation left on hydrogen.“This is the first time we’ve seen any signal from this early in the Universe, aside from the afterglow of the Big Bang,” Judd Bowman, an astronomer at Arizona State University who led the work, said in a statement.Following the Big Bang, physicists believe there was only darkness in the universe for about 180 million years, a period known by scientists as Cosmic “Dark Ages.”
….The new discovery is the closest scientists have ever come to observing that moment of “cosmic dawn.”“It’s very exciting to see our baby stars being born,” Keith Bannister, astronomer at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), told CNN.“(Although) we can’t see the stars themselves, we’re seeing the effect they have on the gas around them.”The discovery was made at a radio telescope in Western Australia, the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, operated by the CSIRO.