Simulations Illuminate Universe's First Twin Stars (w/ Video)

Jul 09, 2009
This computer-simulated image shows the formation of two high density regions (yellow) in the early universe, approximately 200 million years after the Big Bang. The cores are separated by about 800 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun, and are expected to evolve into a binary—or "twin"—star system. (Image courtesy of Ralf Kaehler, Matthew Turk and Tom Abel.)

(PhysOrg.com) -- The earliest stars in the universe formed not only as individuals, but sometimes also as twins, according to a paper published today in Science Express. By creating robust simulations of the early universe, astrophysicists Matthew Turk and Tom Abel of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Brian O'Shea of Michigan State University have gained the most detailed understanding to date of the formation of the first stars.

"We used to think that these stars formed by themselves, but now we see from our that sometimes they have siblings," said Turk. "These stars provide the seeds of next generation star formation, so by understanding them we can better understand how other stars and formed."

To make this discovery, the researchers created an extremely detailed computer simulation of early star formation. Into this virtual they sprinkled primordial gas and dark matter as it existed soon after the Big Bang, data they obtained from observations of the cosmic microwave background. This mostly uniform radiation—a faint glow of spread across the entire sky—contains subtle variations that reflect the beginning of all structure in the universe.

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Simulation courtesy of Ralf Kaehler, Matthew Turk and Tom Abel

Turk, Abel and O'Shea ran five data-intensive simulations, each of which covered a 400 quadrillion cubic mile volume of the universe and took about three weeks to run on 64 processors. The simulations focused on the first Population III stars: massive, hot stars thought to have formed a mere several hundred million years after the Big Bang.

As the researchers watched their simulated universe evolve, waves of gas and dark matter swirled through the hot, dense universe. As the universe cooled, gravity began to draw the matter together into clumps. In areas rich with matter, stars began to form. And, in one out of the researchers' five simulations, a single cloud of dust and formed into "twin" stars: one with a mass equivalent to about 10 suns, and one with a mass equivalent to about 6.3 suns. Both of them were still growing at the end of the calculation and will likely grow to many times that mass.

"We ran five of these calculations starting from the beginning of the universe, and to our surprise one of them was special," said Abel. "This opens a whole new realm of research possibilities. These stars could evolve into two black holes, which could have created gravitational waves we could detect with an instrument like the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory and, if they fall into bigger black holes, for the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. Or one of the stars could evolve into a black hole that could create gamma-ray bursts that we could detect with the Swift mission and the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope."

Turk added: "This will help us fine-tune our models for how structure in the universe formed and evolved. Understanding the very early helps us understand what we see today. It even helps explain how and when some of the atoms now on earth and in our bodies were first formed."

Provided by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (news : web)

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User comments : 2

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denijane
5 / 5 (1) Jul 10, 2009
How do you model something whose equations of state you don't know? I refer to dark matter in early universe.
JukriS
1 / 5 (1) Jul 12, 2009
Just remember. Entropy working also inside nucleus of atoms all a time.

Inside nucleus of atoms is only energy who exploding all a time!

Nucleus of atoms exploding/expanding all a time and emit/radiate waves of energy who have a nature of electrons and particles who also expanding/exploding and emit expanding waves of energy!

Electrons just move to the next exploding nucleus of atoms and get this exploding faster and faster. That the way exploding nucleus of atoms push themselfs far away same way what nucelus expanding all a time!

Electrons give some change of pressure for waves of energy who push out from exploding nucleus and then born new electrons etc...

http://www.onesim....com/296

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