James Webb has discovered the presence of “celestial monsters” outside Earth – teach me about science

Man has always been curious to get answers about the formation of the Earth and the outer space that surrounds it.

Over the years, researchers have collected valuable information obtained from space missions and the creation of new instruments along with technological improvements have allowed humans to discover the mysteries of the universe.

Thus a group of astronomers believe they have discovered the first chemical trace that confirms the presence of giant stars in globular protoclusters, which were born only 440 million years after the Big Bang.

Globular clusters are dense groups of stars distributed in a sphere whose radius can range from a dozen to 100 light years. Additionally, these clusters contain millions of stars and are thought to exist in all types of galaxies.

According to one article, “The chemical composition of these stars born at the same time presents anomalies that are not found in any other population of stars.”

But a team from the Universities of Geneva and Barcelona, ​​as well as the Paris Institute of Astrophysics (CNRS and Sorbonne University), believe they have discovered the first chemical trace of their presence in a globular protocluster that arose about 440 million years ago. Confirms. First. After the Big Bang.

living divine monster

The proto-cluster was discovered thanks to observations from the James Webb Space Telescope and was published in the Astronomy & Astrophysics Journal.

Thanks to James Webb’s powerful infrared vision, the co-authors were able to support their theory. The powerful space telescope was able to capture the light emitted by GN-z11, one of the most distant galaxies, located 13.3 billion light years away. The light spectrum emitted by GN-z11 provided fundamental information for the research.

The composition of protocluster stars is something that has baffled scientists, given that despite being born at the same time and in the same gas cloud, the proportions of oxygen, nitrogen, sodium and aluminum vary from star to star. occurs, so experts have decided these differences can be called “abundance anomalies”.

In 2018, the team developed a theoretical model suggesting that massive stars contaminated the original gas cloud during the formation of clusters, leading the stars to acquire chemical elements in an asymmetric manner.

“Today, thanks to data collected by the James Webb Space Telescope, we believe we have found the first clue to the presence of these extraordinary stars,” says Corinne Charbonnel, senior lecturer at the Department of Astronomy of the UNIGE Faculty of Science. First author of the study.

According to research, these “celestial monsters”, as they were also called, are 5,000 to 10,000 times more massive than the Sun and five times hotter at their center (75 million degrees Celsius).

Globular clusters are 10,000 to 13,000 million years old, while superstars have a maximum life of two million years. Therefore, they very soon disappeared from the cumulus clouds that can be seen today. Only indirect traces remain,” said Marc Giles, ICREA professor at the University of Barcelona and co-author of the study.

“It has been established that it has a very high proportion of nitrogen and a very high density of stars,” says Daniel Scherrer, associate professor at the Department of Astronomy of the Faculty of Science at UNIGE and co-author of the study.

“The strong presence of nitrogen can only be explained by the combustion of hydrogen at extremely high temperatures, which only the cores of supermassive stars can reach, as shown by our team’s model of master’s student Laura Ramirez-Galeño ,” concluded. Corinne. Charbonnel.

Consult Astronomy & Astrophysics magazine for more information.

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