Newly discovered star offers opportunity to explore origins of first stars sprung to life in early universe

January 22, 2016 by William G. Gilroy
A team of researchers has observed the brightest ultra metal-poor star ever discovered. Credit: ESO/Beletsky/DSS1 + DSS2 + 2MASS

A team of researchers has observed the brightest ultra metal-poor star ever discovered.

The star is a rare relic from the Milky Way's formative years. As such, it offers astronomers a precious opportunity to explore the origin of the first that sprung to life within our galaxy and the universe.

A Brazilian-American team including Vinicius Placco, a research assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame and a member of JINA-CEE (Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics—Center for the Evolution of the Elements), and led by Jorge Meléndez from the University of São Paulo used two of European Southern Observatory's telescopes in Chile to discover this star, named 2MASS J18082002–5104378.

The star was spotted in 2014 using ESO's New Technology Telescope. Follow-up observations using ESO's Very Large Telescope discovered that, unlike younger stars such as the sun, this star shows an unusually low abundance of what astronomers call metals—elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. It is so devoid of these elements that it is known as an ultra metal-poor star.

Although thought to be ubiquitous in the early universe, metal-poor stars are now a rare sight within both the Milky Way and other nearby galaxies. Metals are formed during nuclear fusion within stars, and are spread throughout the interstellar medium when some of these stars grow old and explode. Subsequent generations of stars therefore form from increasingly metal-rich material. Metal-poor stars, however, formed from the unpolluted environment that existed shortly after the Big Bang. Exploring stars such as 2MASS J18082002–5104378 may unlock secrets about their formation, and show what the universe was like at its very beginning.

The results have been published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Explore further: Astronomers discover oldest stars ever seen

More information: Astronomy & Astrophysics, … 6-15/aa27456-15.html . On Arxiv:

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1 / 5 (8) Jan 23, 2016
High temperature decomposes complex elements. Lava is less complex than, parts of the crust.
That there is a nuclear reaction existed would be radiation, but does not exist is not measured.
Our galaxy consists of 70% small, young red star. The sun is not belongs into them.
How is here, so is there.
3.3 / 5 (3) Jan 23, 2016
Zero information blurb.
1 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2016
For star Betelgeuse is also wrongly claims that a few million years old. I advocate that the misconceptions removed from astro physics.
Star formation should be linked to the growth of the body and the effect of pressure force.
vlaaing peerd
not rated yet Jan 25, 2016
As much as I know about it, given enough time a hydrogen rich star would eventually fuse to iron and iron in stars do not come from other star remnants.

The article vaguely implies this is an ancient star from the formative years of the milky way, but considering the lack of iron or other metals, isn't it just very young?

So either the article or I am missing some information, perhaps both.
5 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2016
vlaaing: While the stars can (in principle) fuse up to iron, you won't see those heavy metals in the surface of the star (where you can observe emission/absorption lines that identify it). Since the metals are only being created as the star fuses, they'll be almost entirely in the core. A star that is assembled from a gas containing heavy metals already will have some of those metals distributed in the 'atmosphere' of the star as well, where we can observe them.
5 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2016
considering the lack of iron or other metals

Note that 'metal' in astronomy has a different meaning (i.e. anything that isn't hydrogen or helium is considered when measuring the metallicity of a star)
Jan 25, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2016
Sub: 3- Tier universe-origins -cosmology digest
The lower tier at the milky-way galactic frame -is associatd with Matter under swirl. comprehension to top end requires reference frame index-cosmological index. see Cosmic Pot Energy of the Universe
Space time energy concepts must comprehend Three-tier formative structures underCosmic Pot Energy of the Universe-evolved through Science in philosophy.
see my research paper presented at Space Telescope scence institute Symposium-2003-available at www [dot]scribd [dot]com-doc-21526401-Cosmic-Pot-Universe-2003 and
books at LULU. posted in my blog drvidyardhicosmology [dot]wordpress [dot]com
vlaaing peerd
not rated yet Jan 26, 2016
thanks Shavera, Antialias, much appreciated!

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