'Oldest star' found from iron fingerprint (Update)

Feb 09, 2014 by Jennifer Chu
Supernova
Credit: NASA

As the Big Bang's name suggests, the universe burst into formation from an immense explosion, creating a vast soup of particles. Gigantic clouds of primordial soup, made mainly of hydrogen and helium, eventually collapsed to form the first stars—massive, luminous, short-lived objects that exploded as supernovae soon after. In the wake of such explosions, gas clouds gave rise to a second generation of stars that telescopes can still pick out today.

Scientists have thought that the first stars in the universe burst with tremendous energy, spewing out the first heavy elements, such as carbon, iron, and oxygen. But according to new research from MIT, not all of these first stars may have been forceful exploders.

The team has identified a distant star several thousand light-years away—named SMSS J031300.36-670839.3—that contains a level of iron whose upper limit is so low that it suggests that the star is a second-generation star, having arisen from the gas cloud enriched by one of the very first stars in the universe. But because there is so little iron in the star, the researchers say the star's progenitor must not have been very energetic, as it may have failed to expel all the heavy elements made in its own core.

The findings, which are published this week in the journal Nature, provide a glimpse of what the activity in the very early universe may have looked like, and point to much more diverse properties among the very first population of stars.

"One very central question for all of us is, 'How did the first stars and galaxies get started?'" says co-author Anna Frebel, an assistant professor of physics and a member of MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. "This star had a lower-than-expected explosion energy, and also lower than today's regular supernovae, which was really an unexpected finding. That tells us that, to some extent, we have to go back to the drawing board, because there is more variety amongst this very first generation of stars than we have assumed so far."

Whittling down the stellar field

The surface of a star can tell you a quite a bit about what came before: The chemicals present on the surface are essentially the remnants of the previous star's explosion. Since the Big Bang, successive generations of stars have fused and spewed chemical elements into the universe, creating the building blocks for galaxies and planetary systems. Today, the youngest stars form from gas polluted with every element in the periodic table.

To find the earliest generations of stars, scientists look for vanishingly small abundances of the first heavy elements created, such as iron. Stars with very low chemical abundances, they believe, may have formed in the earliest epoch of the universe, more than 13 billion years ago, when few elements had yet formed.

To find such a stellar candidate, Frebel, physics postdoc Heather Jacobson, and their colleagues at Mount Stromlo Observatory in Australia went through the spectral data of millions of stars collected by SkyMapper, an automated telescope that tracks planets, stars, and asteroids in the southern sky. The researchers weeded through the data, discarding any stars with spectra similar to the sun—a modern analogue with relatively large chemical abundances.

After whittling down the stellar field, the researchers singled out a handful of stars containing very low chemical signatures. They then got a closer look at these stars using the Magellan Telescopes—a pair of large telescopes in Chile—to obtain high-resolution spectral data.

From this data, Frebel and her colleagues analyzed each star's absorption lines. Every chemical element gives off a characteristic absorption line, or wavelength of light; the fainter this line, the less of the chemical is present. In the case of SMSS J031300.36-670839.3, the researchers calculated that the star's iron content is at least seven orders of magnitude, or 10 million times, less than the iron found in the sun—which is the lowest iron abundance ever detected in a star. The star, they concluded, must be a true second-generation star.

'Zooming in on an early star'

The group also measured the abundance of carbon in SMSS J031300.36-670839.3, and found that this element was in much higher supply—more than a thousand times greater than iron. The discrepancy, Frebel says, is illuminating: According to computational models, stellar formation occurs from the inside out. Chemical elements that are fused in a star's core are pushed further out to its perimeter, making way for new elements to form. The outer layers of the very first generation of stars were likely composed of the first heavy elements, leaving heavier elements like iron in their cores. According to theory, when these very first stars exploded as supernovae, they spewed all their chemical elements into space.

But the new second-generation star may change scientists' understanding of just how active the very first generation of stars was. Because the newly identified star has both very low iron and relatively high carbon content, Frebel envisions an alternative scenario: that this star arose from a low-energy, first-generation star whose explosion expelled the contents of its outer layers, but was not strong enough to release chemicals such as iron from its inner layers. The resulting gas cloud—high in carbon, and low in iron—eventually coalesced to form SMSS J031300.36-670839.3.

Understanding just how energetic the first stars were can give scientists an idea of the kind of environment in which the first galaxies and planets formed, Frebel says. For instance, massive stellar explosions could potentially blow apart an embryonic galaxy, whereas less energetic supernovae may increase the chance for a new galaxy to stay together and expand.

"By zooming in on an early star and finding something slightly unusual that goes a bit against the mainstream view, we've sort of rattled theory a little in a good way to say, 'Maybe we have to rethink how the first stars formed,'" Frebel says.

Explore further: Will the sun explode?

More information: A single low-energy, iron-poor supernova as the source of metals in the star SMSS J031300.36–2670839.3, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature12990

Journal reference: Nature search and more info website

Provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4.6 /5 (52 votes)

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User comments : 58

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The Shootist
3 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2014
Calling Oliver Manual.

No Fe - Star.
billpress11
2.5 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2014
The picture looks like the remnants of and extremely ancient supernova. If so, that just might explain why it has such a low iron content.
RealScience
4.6 / 5 (14) Feb 09, 2014
@billpress - that picture is indeed a supernova remnant, but it is a stock photo and is NOT a picture of the star SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 that the article is about.

Here is a link with a picture of the actual star being discussed:
http://theconvers...se-22944
Drjsa_oba
2.4 / 5 (8) Feb 09, 2014
Even though the iron level in the universe on average increases that does not mean that every star that forms is composed of the average contents of the universe. What I am getting at is that the universe is uneven. Stars form from different stuff in different locations as well as at different times.

Therefore determining the age of a star from its contents becomes nothing more that a 'maybe' not even a 'probable'.

A star that may have formed at the very earliest age of the universe may have acquired an excess of iron from an earlier star nova and be the oldest star still in existence. Therefor making the iron content criteria useless.
verkle
1.7 / 5 (15) Feb 09, 2014
This doesn't sound like sound science. They are not measuring the real age of the star, but merely its iron contents. Deductions after that measurement are based on weak theory, at best.
Nestle
1 / 5 (14) Feb 09, 2014
they had found a star 13.6 billion years old, making it the most ancient star ever seen. The star was formed just a couple of hundred million years after the Big Bang that brought the Universe into being, they believe. Previous contenders for the title of oldest star are around 13.2 billion years old
Yep, and they already shifted the estimations of Universe age into the past just because of it. The problem is, the stars shouldn't form just a hundred millions of years after Big Bang according to contemporary cosmological models of baryogenesis. Now the steady state Universe model suddenly doesn't appear so bad, huh?
Nestle
1.5 / 5 (11) Feb 09, 2014
This doesn't sound like sound science. They are not measuring the real age of the star, but merely its iron contents. Deductions after that measurement are based on weak theory, at best.
I do agree. Such a stars could be formed from quite accidental cloud or stream of hydrogen, ejected with another stellar system. Or from collision of some brown dwarfs, which can burn the deuterium only. There are many other possible explanations.
chardo137
1 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2014

Lex Talonis
1 / 5 (8) Feb 10, 2014
It's the kingdom of jesus, or at least one of his garden party houses.
ROBTHEGOB
1.3 / 5 (15) Feb 10, 2014
There was no big bang. Get over it.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (11) Feb 10, 2014
This doesn't sound like sound science. They are not measuring the real age of the star, but merely its iron contents.


I suspect that's why the researcher said "We can use the iron abundance of a star as a qualitative 'clock' telling us when the star was formed.", not "quantitative".
Fleetfoot
4.8 / 5 (19) Feb 10, 2014
.. they already shifted the estimations of Universe age into the past just because of it. The problem is, the stars shouldn't form just a hundred millions of years after Big Bang ..


Wrong again Zephyr, current estimates for the first stars are around 32 million years, your an order of magnitude or two out.

according to contemporary cosmological models of baryogenesis.


Wrong again Zephyr, current estimates for baryogenesis are earlier than 10 microseconds, you are at least 20 orders of magnitude out.

Now the steady state Universe model suddenly doesn't appear so bad, huh?


Wrong again Zephyr, steady state can't even explain the existence of the CMBR, let alone a dozen other indicators. It's a dead duck and has been for half a century.
billpress11
2 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2014
@billpress - that picture is indeed a supernova remnant, but it is a stock photo and is NOT a picture of the star SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 that the article is about.

Here is a link with a picture of the actual star being discussed:
http://theconvers...se-22944


Here is one link that indicates the star may have once been a supernova. There are others if one does a search, some showing the same photo as the one in this article.

SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 is a star lying in the Milky Way at the distance of 6000 ...With an age of 13.7 billion years, it is one the oldest known stars in the Universe. ... and calcium which could have been formed in a low energy supernova.
SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't understand why the link is not highlighted?

yyz
5 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2014
"Here is one link that indicates the star may have once been a supernova."

What the wiki entry alludes to, and the current study has found, is that an ancient supernova most likely seeded this star with some of the elements seen in its spectrum. From the abstract:

"...we conclude that the star was seeded with material from a single supernova with an original mass of ~60 Mo (and that the supernova left behind a black hole)."

http://arxiv-web3...2.1517v1

Not to mention that while neutron stars and black holes are possible outcomes from supernova explosions, fully formed metal poor stars are not.
yyz
5 / 5 (8) Feb 10, 2014
BTW, the supernova remnant at the top of this article (and used in many articles reporting this story) is Cassiopeia A. The image is an early Chandra x-ray view: http://www.nasa.g...001.html
billpress11
1 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2014
XYZ doing more research I agree the photo in this article is not the star discussed in this article. But there does seem to be a possibility that the star in this article was once a supernova.

But the new second-generation star may change scientists' understanding of just how active the very first generation of stars was. Because the newly identified star has both very low iron and relatively high carbon content, Frebel envisions an alternative scenario: that this star arose from a low-energy, first-generation star whose explosion expelled the contents of its outer layers, but was not strong enough to release chemicals such as iron from its inner layers. The resulting gas cloud — high in carbon, and low in iron — eventually coalesced to form SMSS J031300.36-670839.3.

http://web.mit.ed...iverse-0

billpress11
2.5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2014
It appears to me there we know less than we know about to origin and history of the universe.

Here is another link that alludes to a low energy supernova origin:

http://www.thereg...nt_star/

"That's because in current Big Bang modelling, those first-generation stars should have thrown off iron as well as other elements – and that should be observed in a second-generation star. The discovery of J-etcetera, with a lack of iron, suggests another process could be at work.

Instead of the kind of high-energy supernovae we observe now in late-generation stars (which would throw heavy elements into space along with the reset of the ejecta), "what this seems to suggest is these first stars have these "wimpy" explosions, and subsequent generations have more energetic explosions," Keller explained.

Instead of a star like our own sun, which could carry the ejecta of as many as 1,000 predecessors, this discovery represents just one parent supernova
Nestle
1 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2014
current estimates for the first stars are around 32 million years
Who had estimated it? You? So that this picture is BS already?

steady state can't even explain the existence of the CMBR
The LCDM model has nothing to say about CMBR. The universe age is fitted to CMBR wavelength instead.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (8) Feb 10, 2014
What a terrible article. First the erroneous description of cosmology ("big bang" as opposed to inflation, "the universe" as opposed to the local universe of which the observable universe is only a part, "explosion" instead of reheating), then the left out interesting facts seen of the primordial stars.

The stars that originated SMSS et cetera were only about 60 solar masses (see the paper). That is smack in the middle of recent estimates that go up to only 130 solar masses instead of many hundreds as originally believed. It is much less problematic to understand how such stars originate, because even today O stars range 15 - 90 solar masses. Primordial star problem putatively solved.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (8) Feb 10, 2014
@Drjsa_oba: You get it backwards. No modern stars can form with so little iron: And that is all that is claimed.

@verkle: Your inability to distinguish between science and pseudoscience, or identifying top journals, is noted. But then you are a creationist anti-scientist, only out to spam misinformation.

@RTG: If you want to spam misinformation, science sites are bad. Because you will be called out.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (7) Feb 10, 2014
@Nestle: The SS theory has been rejected as impossible, far from "not so bad". And these stars are exactly as old as predicted.

"The LCDM model has nothing to say about CMBR."

The CMB is what _nailed the standard cosmology (and rejected all contenders as impossible), because it predicts all the CMB features and no other theory does. I recommend Susskind's cosmology lectures, free on youtube, with Matthew Francis blog articles on the peaks to complement it (because they tie together the predicted mass-energy contents with the peaks).

You can take the CMB and _test every major feature of the standard cosmology_ in it, because of this predictivity. It is amazing! I just had an astrobiology seminar series where I was able to describe it all in words no less.

It is also amazing that you think you can get away with your totally erroneous claim, or worse that you are actually that misinformed. Come on, Susskind's lectures takes about half a work week to listen through. Do your homework!
billpress11
1 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2014
TL, how do you figure the CMB nailed the SS universe? The universe just may infinite and the observed red-shift could have another explanation. There is one that conserves the energy and moment of the original emitted light. (The Waves of Particles Theory of Light) If so the CMB would be close to the natural end for the emitted light from the most distant stars to be down shifted to.

Osteta
Feb 11, 2014
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Osteta
Feb 11, 2014
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Osteta
Feb 11, 2014
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Osteta
Feb 11, 2014
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Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2014
current estimates for the first stars are around 32 million years


Who had estimated it? You?


Naoz et al, 2006:

http://arxiv.org/.../0604050

There has been further work done on this as supercomputers progress and are able to model the DM flows which generally confirm that prediction. It will take JWST at least to test it.

So that http://subarutele...01_e.jpg is BS already?


It's a bit out of date. That graphic says "First astronomical objects: Formation of galaxies and quasars. Beginning of the cosmic reionization." at 500 million years. That figure is reasonable for the first large galaxies and perhaps reionization but the first individual stars were much earlier.

steady state can't even explain the existence of the CMBR


The LCDM model has nothing to say about CMBR.


ROFL.

The universe age is fitted to CMBR wavelength instead.


According to steady state, the CMBR should not even exist.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2014
TL, how do you figure the CMB nailed the SS universe? The universe just may infinite and the observed red-shift could have another explanation.


The observation of relativistic time dilation in supernovae by Goldhaber and in quasars by De-Chang Dai ruled out all forms of tired light:

http://arxiv.org/.../0104382

http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.5191

There is one that conserves the energy and moment of the original emitted light.


We know from Planck's Relation that frequency is proportional to energy, hence if it conserves energy, it cannot produce redshift.

(The Waves of Particles Theory of Light) If so the CMB would be close to the natural end for the emitted light from the most distant stars to be down shifted to.


Tired light applied to starlight would produce a flat observed spectrum, the integral of the redshift from here to infinity. What is seen is a blackbody curve which would have to come from a unique radius centred on us.
billpress11
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2014
Fleetfoot: Assume just for a minute two things, the universe in infinite and there is another explanation for the observed red-shift of light from distant galaxies. If that were true the observed CMB would be a natural, exactly as it is viewed. After all the universe is the same in every direction we look, as far a we know it just might be infinite. The other explanation for the observed red-shift is explained in The Waves of Particles Theory of Light. And it does conserve the energy and momentum of the emitted light from every Z factor one can think of.

billpress11
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2014
Quote Fleetfoot: "We know from Planck's Relation that frequency is proportional to energy, hence if it conserves energy, it cannot produce redshift."

If that is true then how do you explain the shift in a photon's frequency? After all they are cemented into a single frequency. The Waves of Particles Theory of light doesn't have that problem. See for yourself at this link: http://www.scribd...-Physics
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2014
See for yourself at this link: http://www.scribd...-Physics

@billpress11
first thing: this is a book. if you are going to use a reference, find a peer reviewed publication that has been vetted by scientists.
there is no proof that this book has been peer reviewed and stands the tests of a theory, which makes it a hypothesis
this means that it is like posting "Gone with the Wind" in support of your argument, or worse yet, anything from the Electric Universe site.

read this and see if it helps you understand the shift in photon freq.

http://www.cft.ed.../RFS.pdf

IMP-9
5 / 5 (1) Feb 12, 2014
If that is true then how do you explain the shift in a photon's frequency? After all they are cemented into a single frequency.


But is frequency universal? No. Relativity and even Newtonian dynamics tells us frequency is frame dependent.
billpress11
1 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2014
Captain Stumpy, no I cannot follow it.

IMP-9, even if frequency is frame dependent wouldn't that show up in the average length of time we observe the stages of a supernova? As the Z factor and therefor distance increases, shouldn't the length of time also increase? Maybe it does, I don't know.

Here is something else I cannot understand, in the link below the temperature of the CMB rises inline with the Z factor. If that is true how would the CMB temperature ever increase to the near infinite temperature at the moment of the BB? It would seem to me it would have to.
The temperature of the CMB rises right in line with what the waves of particles theory of light states it should.

Below is a link that gives temperature of the CMB as it relates to the Z factor.

(Click on link below, go to upper right corner, then click on PDF, see figure 4.)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.3164
Kron
1 / 5 (4) Feb 12, 2014
Monkeys arguing theories again. The universe may be infinite. It may be finite. It may be finite but appear infinite. It may be infinite but appear finite. Appearances can be deceiving. Unless you are the creator of the universe your guesses are just that. Theories are not facts. Models are not reality. Theories are nothing more than aids designed to increase our predictive power. Treat them as such and nothing more. You weren't around to witness the events from a 100 years ago. Why speak so matter of factly of events that transpired 14 billion years ago? We need no theories to tell us what's been, we need theories to tell us what tomorrow will bring.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2014
Captain Stumpy, no I cannot follow it.

@billpress11
ok... try some of these links. the first three should be sufficient to give you the basic idea.

http://www.pbs.or...ty2.html

https://en.wikipe...r_effect

http://encycloped...-shifted

http://www.relati...er.shtml

http://www.newton...er8.html

Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2014
Fleetfoot: Assume just for a minute two things, the universe in infinite ..


No problem, that is entirely possible. In fact if the geometry is falt, it is also spatially infinite.

.. and there is another explanation for the observed red-shift of light from distant galaxies.


Tired light is ruled out as I said, but carry on.

If that were true the observed CMB would be a natural, exactly as it is viewed.


No. If the radiation is emitted uniformly through space, we might see a black-body curve for temperature T coming from range x and another from range x+dx, but the latter would be redshifted relative to the first. Integrate from zero to infinity and you get the Planck curve above the peak for temperature T locally but it is asymptotic to a flat line at frequencies below that. It is impossible to get the right spectrum with any distributed source and tired light.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (7) Feb 13, 2014
Quote Fleetfoot: "We know from Planck's Relation that frequency is proportional to energy, hence if it conserves energy, it cannot produce redshift."

If that is true then how do you explain the shift in a photon's frequency?


If someone throws a stone at you and you run away, you reduce the energy of its impact. Run away from a light source and it is redshifted by the Doppler Effect which reduces each photon's energy in exactly the same way.

Throw a brick upwards to hit someone and it loses kinetic energy in rising. The same applies to light as was shown by the Pound-Rebka Experiment.

After all they are cemented into a single frequency.


ROFL, no, frequency is frame-dependent.

The Waves of Particles Theory of light doesn't have that problem.


Then it is wrong because nature does have that "problem".
Modernmystic
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 13, 2014
What I am getting at is that the universe is uneven. Stars form from different stuff in different locations as well as at different times.


Actually the universe is HIGHLY isotropic. Everywhere we look is just about as average as everywhere else. There are minute differences in temperature and density on average and these very small variances are responsible for all the structure we see. We're talking very small differences though.
billpress11
1 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2014
The link below gives temperature of the CMB as it relates to the Z factor.
(Click on link below, then click on PDF in the upper right, see figure 4.)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.3164

I understand the Doppler effect. And that is what is giving me trouble understanding how they came to the conclusion the temperature of the CMB is higher AFTER the light has been red-shifter by an expanding universe. Wouldn't it be lower after it is red-shifted by a Z factor of say 3?

The waves of particles theory of light states that as the light is red-shifted (by another explained method) the intensity goes up in direct proportion. For Z-1 the intensity is double, energy and momentum are conserved. And that is what is observed in the link above.

Another thing that is somewhat confusing is the fact that the universe expanded to at least the visible size we observe today in the first second after it was created according to the BB theory. And what about the accelerating expansion?
billpress11
1 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2014
Another thing, it is always portrayed that as we look out into the universe, we are looking ever closer into the moment of the BB. How can that be when the universe expanded to at least the size be observed today during the first instants of the BB inflationary period? The universe is flat, we are really looking back into the post inflationary period and it appears nearly the same in every direction we look. Modernmystic is correct here.

Another question I have is if the inflationary really happened what caused to to stop and just go into the expanding universe we observe today? When it slowed to its present rate couldn't it have just as easily stopped expanding all together?
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (5) Feb 16, 2014
The link below gives temperature of the CMB as it relates to the Z factor.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.3164

I understand the Doppler effect. And that is what is giving me trouble understanding how they came to the conclusion the temperature of the CMB is higher AFTER the light has been red-shifter by an expanding universe. Wouldn't it be lower after it is red-shifted by a Z factor of say 3?


You are misreading it slightly, (z+1) is the change in scale so z=3 means distances were one quarter of their present value and the CMB was about 10.9. Since then, the universe has expanded and cooled. Because z looks back, it was hotter BEFORE and is lower now.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (5) Feb 16, 2014
The waves of particles theory of light states that as the light is red-shifted (by another explained method) the intensity goes up in direct proportion. For Z-1 the intensity is double, energy and momentum are conserved.


That would again mean it is wrong. To keep a thermal spectrum, the energy flux has to fall to match the Stefan-Boltzmann law, i.e. by (z+1)^4. As the scale increases, the volume goes up by the cube or (z+1)^3 which reduces the photons per unit volume by the same amount. The energy of each photon has to fall by another (z+1) factor and that comes from the increase in wavelength which corresponds to a reduction in frequency of (z+1), hence energy through Planck's relation, E=hv.

If your ideas don't replicate Planck's relation, they are wrong.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (5) Feb 16, 2014
the universe expanded to at least the visible size we observe today in the first second after it was created according to the BB theory.


No, the usual phrase is that it expanded from smaller than an atom to "about the size of a grapefruit".

it is always portrayed that as we look out into the universe, we are looking ever closer into the moment of the BB. How can that be when the universe expanded to at least the size be observed today during the first instants of the BB inflationary period?


We can look back to the CMB, that is closer to the start, but we can't see beyond that.

Another question I have is if the inflationary really happened what caused to to stop and just go into the expanding universe we observe today? When it slowed to its present rate couldn't it have just as easily stopped expanding all together?


Nobody knows. Everyone thought it was zero until 1998, QM suggests it should be more than 100 orders of magnitude higher. The search continues.
Nestle
1 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2014
As I already pointed out, the biggest problem of SMSS J031300 is, it looks pretty massive - it's surface gravity as estimated by red shift of spectra is ten times higher than those of Sun. Such massive and dense stars cannot live that long. In this way or another, the SMSS J031300 violates the established theories - no matter which particular model do you prefer.
Q-Star
5 / 5 (4) Feb 16, 2014
As I already pointed out, the biggest problem of SMSS J031300 is, it looks pretty massive - it's surface gravity as estimated by red shift of spectra is ten times higher than those of Sun. Such massive and dense stars cannot live that long. In this way or another, the SMSS J031300 violates the established theories - no matter which particular model do you prefer.


Zeph, this star's mass is estimated at being only 0.8 the mass of the sun. If it was any greater than that, it would not have survived this long. The Sun's surface gravity is log g 4.4 cgs. This star's surface gravity is estimated to be log g 2.4 cgs.

Other than that ya have a really good theory.
Nestle
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 16, 2014
I see, you're right. I do apologize for mistake and my above remark is thus retracted.
Q-Star
5 / 5 (3) Feb 16, 2014
I see, you're right. I do apologize for mistake and my above remark is thus retracted.


No need to apologize Zeph. These things are reported in a fashion that makes it easy for the readers to get mislead. Sometimes I wonder if they don't do it intentionally, in the case of this star the reporting has been abysmal and especially bad.
billpress11
1 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2014
Fleetfoot, I do not think you understand the concept of the "inflationary period". Read the quote below, now that is an accurate description of the inflationary period. That is the MINIMUM size of the expansion of the universe during the inflationary period, the size we see today.

It is really simple, it has to be true if the BB ever even happened because the universe looks the same in every direction and it is FLAT. If the inflationary period did NOT expand the universe to the visible size we observe today it would look different in different directions UNLESS we just happened to be in the EXACT center of the origin of the BB.
- - - - -- - -
"Extremely small portion of Universe ballooned outward in all directions at speeds much greater than speed of light
Becomes many billions of times its original size to become visible Universe of today"
http://zebu.uoreg...ion.html
RealScience
5 / 5 (5) Feb 17, 2014
@billpress11 - Before suspecting others of not understanding, you should double-check your own understanding first (and Fleetfoot has one of the highest highest rankings of any commenter on this site, so in this case you should triple-check).

The comment you quote does NOT say that the universe expanded to the SIZE of the visible universe today. It says that it expanded in size to BECOME the visible universe of today.
While inflation smoothed out the universe, the universe that we see today has continued expanding since the end of inflation, and is continuing to expand to this day.

Fleetfoot is correct that in current standard inflation theory, at the end of the inflationary period the part of the universe that we see today was on the rough order of magnitude of the size or a grapefruit. (Rough order of magnitude means within a few orders of magnitude, or within a factor of a hundred to a thousand).

-continued-
RealScience
5 / 5 (4) Feb 17, 2014
-continued-
As for the size of the whole universe, we simply do not know. What we see today might be all there is (unlikely, as the amount that we can see varies over time), or it might be a tiny fraction of all there is, or the universe might even be infinite.

Thus we really don't know how large the whole universe was after inflation, we just have some idea how big the what-is-now-observable part of the universe was after inflation (if inflation is indeed the explanation for the smoothness that we see).
And even there, common descriptions range from the size of a grain of sand to the size of a beach ball, with the size of a grapefruit being a common intermediate description.

So: If you are talking about the size of the currently visible universe after inflation, then Fleetfoot's size-of-a-grapefruit is reasonable, and if you are talking about the size of the whole universe after inflation, then we simply don't know other than that it was at least that size.
Q-Star
5 / 5 (4) Feb 17, 2014
@ RealScience,

Excellent points all. Just wanted to add: there is no one "inflation model" there are several competing models. Because the inflationary epoch is so little understood, anyone who knows what they are talking about will tell that ya that any numbers or metrics before the end of inflation are speculations only. The inflation epoch is an area of unknown physics.

What they all agree on though, is at the end of inflation, the universe was still small enough that ALL the matter in the universe was still dense and hot enough (meaning small enough) that matter was still in the form of a quark plasma, it had not expanded enough for quarks and leptons to have frozen out.

The constraint on the size at the end of inflation is it must have ended before it expanded enough for the particles to separate out and the breaking of symmetry of the weak, strong, and electromagnetic forces, these events came after the end of inflation. That's set-in density/temp/size constraints.
RealScience
5 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2014
Just wanted to add: there is no one "inflation model" there are several competing models.


Thank you for adding the details.

By 'current standard inflation theory' I did not mean to imply that there is just one model, and I was lumping together a set of relatively similar models to explain to billlpress that inflation did not end with the universe similar in size to what we see today.

As far as I know the currently popular inflation models all end with a size range for the currently-observable universe that is very roughly 30 orders of magnitude bigger than before inflation and very roughly 30 orders of magnitude smaller than the observable universe is today, and thus are all very different from billpress11's interpretation that at the end of inflation the universe was the size that it is today.

(A constraint on the other end is that inflation stretched space enough to produce the evenness that we see today.)
billpress11
1 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2014
Fleetfoot, I agree there are several competing models of the inflationary period. But the only one that makes any sense is the one posted on the link I provided.
Quote: "Becomes many billions of times its original size to become VISIBLE Universe of TODAY"
http://zebu.uoreg...ion.html

Why is this the most reasonable? It really quite simple. The inflationary period was NOT part of the original BB theory. It was added on later to explain away the apparent FLATNESS of the observable universe. To just add a grapefruit size inflationary period cannot explain away this flatness. To add on that small of an inflationary period would be a wasted add on to the BB theory and accomplish nothing.

Realscience, I NEVER stated the inflationary period ended in the size of the universe we see today. I said that was the MINIMUM size at the end of the inflationary period. It could be much larger than that, it could be infinite.

The universe we see today is a POST inflationary period view!
RealScience
not rated yet Feb 18, 2014

I NEVER stated the inflationary period ended in the size of the universe we see today. I said that was the MINIMUM size at the end of the inflationary period. It could be much larger than that, it could be infinite.


Ah, you are referring to the size of the whole universe at the end of inflation, rather than the size that the portion that we can currently see was at the end of inflation.

Space has been expanding since the end of inflation, so what we see today, which is the limit of what we know is fairly homogenous on large scales, was much smaller then.
So the universe at that time would not have HAD to be bigger then than what we see today was at that time, which was roughly 30 orders of magnitude smaller than it is today.

It was PROBABLY much larger (it is unlikely that just now we are seeing all that there ever was), and it could indeed have been (and be infinite), but today's smoothness does not REQUIRE that it was larger than that.
billpress11
1 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2014
Realscience, if I am reading your post correctly I would have to say I agree with it.
But I cannot quite follow your 30 orders of magnitude statement.
RealScience
5 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2014
The various inflation models start with the observable universe as a tiny speck and then expand its diameter by 25 to 30 orders of magnitude.
(The whole universe maybe much larger than this, and may even be infinite, and inflation may not affect all parts evenly, so this is just discussing the part that becomes the visible universe).

This massive inflation ends up with what we now see ranging from a bit less than millimeter to roughly a meter in diameter.

A light year is ~10^13 kilometer or ~10^16 meters, and the diameter of the observable universe is ~100 billion light years, or roughly 10^27 meters. So that's 27 orders of magnitude bigger than the large end of the size range from inflation models (of what we now see), and 30 orders of magnitude bigger than the smaller end of the inflationary models.

So the expansion during inflation and since the end of inflation are both very roughly 30 orders of magnitude (probably somewhere in the upper 20s).
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2014
Fleetfoot, I do not think you understand the concept of the "inflationary period".


Just for background, I am only an amateur but I did the Caltech open course on Cosmology last year passing with distinction and scoring 96% over the series of tests.

Quote: "Becomes many billions of times its original size to become VISIBLE Universe of TODAY" ... The universe we see today is a POST inflationary period view!


The key phrase is "BECOME [the] visible universe", we are post inflation but also post expansion.

To just add a grapefruit size inflationary period cannot explain away this flatness. To add on that small of an inflationary period would be a wasted add on to the BB theory and accomplish nothing.


Since everything we can now observe started inside that grapefruit and that region had previously been small enough to reach equilibrium, it solves the probelms.

Look for "grapefruit":

http://aether.lbl...ers.html
Rimino
Feb 19, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2014
A couple more links, again look for "grapefruit" in the first:

http://www.physic...ion.html

This video is 25 minutes but well worth viewing:

http://www.youtub...direct=1

The grapefruit is just before 14 minutes ;-)
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2014
The enthusiastic amateurs can be often more knowledgable than the experts

@Rimino
personal conjecture
proof? Links?
This is like saying that because you love something you know more about it than someone who studies it every day... there is no basis for that argument
would you perform surgery on yourself?
The sad truth is, the more time someone will spend with studying of something, the more it becomes biased into this field

personal conjecture without evidence
more likely, the more time in the field, the more likely they are to understand what is feasible and what is not

do you have a pet hypothesis you would like to share?
is there empirical data that backs up your hypothesis?
Bonia
Feb 19, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Captain Stumpy
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2014
would you perform surgery on yourself

If it would be my hobby, why not... But I'm afraid, your example is a bit misleading from apparent technical reasons. With poor examples you may get whatever evidence you want

@Bonia
No, the argument is not misleading. It is intentional.
Astrophysicists require training in a wide variety of subjects, from plasma physics to etc etc
They are similar to doctors in this regard
you said
The enthusiastic amateurs can be often more knowledgable than the experts

UNLESS THAT HOBBYIST/AMATEUR HAS THE SAME TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE AS THE PROFESSIONAL their speculations are NOT knowledgeable, they are conjecture and without merit

Now, if the hobby is observation/experience based MAYBE
however, if that hobby requires a consummate knowledge with multiple disciplines like surgery or astrophysics, then the amateur, without knowledge or training, only adds confusion or obfuscation to the science

this is like EU claims to astrophysics
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2014
this is like EU claims to astrophysics


I think you are being unfair, some EU proponents clearly have as much knowledge of plasma behaviour as any professional welder.
RealScience
5 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2014
@Fleetfoot - amazing combination of humor, supporting the role of amateurs, and still managing a jab at EU proponents, all in a short comment. 10 stars!

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