early Universe

early Universe

The era in the evolution of the Universe soon after the big bang when it was very hot and dense. As the Universe expanded it cooled, giving rise to a sequence of phase transitions associated with broken symmetries. The light elements such as helium were mostly formed in the early Universe. It has been suggested that in the early Universe inflation, i.e. very rapid expansion, occurred. The very early Universe, occurring immediately after the big bang, requires a fundamentally new physics involving the combination of quantum mechanics and general relativity theory before it will be understood.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
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It is still expanding at a rapid rate, something that has prompted scientists across the globe to locate distant objects from the early universe and understand how it has been evolving.
Using a radio antenna not much larger than a refrigerator, astronomers have detected for the first time a signal from stars emerging in the early universe. The researchers discovered that ancient suns were active within 180 million years of the Big Bang, according to a study published in the journal Nature.
"Finding this miniscule signal has opened a new window on the early Universe," said Arizona State University astronomer Judd Bowman, the project's lead investigator.
Clumpiness in the density of the early universe piled up into traveling waves of abrupt density spikes, or shocks, like those that create a sonic boom, scientists say.
"Quasars are among the brightest objects and they literally illuminate our knowledge of the early universe," BaEados said.
Astronomers have discovered one of the brightest quasars in the early universe: SDSS J0100+2802, powered by a supermassive black hole of 12 or 13 billion solar masses.
However, these clusters have not always existed, and a key question in modern cosmology is how such massive structures assembled in the early universe.
In a media release, the University of Arizona said that the black hole powered "the brightest quasar of the early universe." NASA describes quasars as "the brilliant beacons of light that are powered by black holes feasting on captured material, and in the process, heating some of the matter to millions of degrees."
Fan Xiaohui, professor from the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory and a member of Wu's team, said the discovery "presented a major puzzle" to the theories of black hole growth in the early universe.
Until now, however, these elusive cores had never been spotted because they're unique to the early Universe and probably heavily obscured from view.
Lead researcher Kim-Vy Tran of Texas A and M University in College Station said that when you look more than 9 billion years ago in the early universe, you don't expect to find this type of galaxy lensing at all and it's very difficult to see an alignment between two galaxies in the early universe.

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