One of the features of the Hubble Space Telescope — and other space-observation hardware used by scientists to scan the sky — is that it can collect so much data during observations that new discoveries are sometimes made months or even years after images are first collected, according tomedia BGR. This is the case in a new study of data collected during the Hubble Frontier Stake program, which ends in 2017. The researchers examined a large amount of data and wrote a paper in 2019 detailing their findings.
Now, more than a year later, a team of scientists led by the European Space Agency has discovered something quite special, revealing the origins of the earliest galaxies and stars.
After the Big Bang, stars formed. Scientists believe these early stars are unique because some of the elements found in today’s stars can only form inside the stars. It can be said that this is a “chicken first or egg first” program, but the researchers have identified the “first egg” argument. Simply put, it is thought that the earliest stars were made up of hydrogen, helium and lithium, because only these elements existed in the stars at the time.
Stars made up of these elements are called “third star stars”. Hubble looked for these stars by observing the distance in the universe so far away that the light that reached Earth today was produced between 500 million and 1 billion years after the Big Bang. If the theory of the early universe is correct, Hubble should be able to discover some “third star”. But that is not the case.
Instead, using a new technique, researchers were better able to observe low-mass galaxies that would otherwise have been hidden, and they found early galaxies that were more mature than the early galaxies in the history of the universe. Rachana Bhatawdekar, lead author of the study, said: “These results have profound astrophysical consequences because they suggest that galaxies must have formed much earlier than we thought. This also strongly supports the idea that low-mass/weak galaxies in the early universe were responsible for reionization. “