Shining like a diamond in the sky
Simulations conducted by a group of scientists suggest that one of the first stars formed 13.4 billion years ago may still be shining brightly even until today. Read on.
Paul Clark of the University of Heidelberg in Germany and his colleagues have concluded from their simulations that some of the universe’s first stars may still be shining in the Milky Way. This contradicts the prevailing view that all of the first stars formed were behemoths which burned out in a few million years.
Paul believes that his gas cloud simulations suggest that some of those infant stars could have been ejected before they matured into behemoth stars which burn out quickly. Hence these infant stars could have survived till today, assuming that they have not acquired more than 80% of the Sun’s mass.
Other scientists remain skeptical as they believe that this study is not solidly based on computational physics. However, if these primordial stars do exist, it would prove to be an exciting discovery. Their brightness does not require a very powerful telescope to view them, but some analysis has to be done to differentiate them from the rest, through the analysis of their composition.
Primordial stars contain only helium and hydrogen while the other stars contain heavy metal.