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Rare relic is one of only three fossil clouds known in the universe

Simulation of galaxies and gas in the universe. Within the gas of the (blue) filaments connecting the (orange) galaxies, rare pockets of unclean gases of Big Bang, which in some way have parental leave from the star's explosive, polluting deaths, are seen as circular shock waves around some orange points. Credit: TNG COOPERATIONA relic cloud of gas, orphan after the storm, has been discovered in the remote universe of astronomers using the world's most powerful optical telescope, W. M. Keck Observatory at Maunakea, Hawaii. The discovery of such a rare fossil, led by doctoral student Fred Robert and Professor Michael Murphy at the Swinburne University of Technology, offers new information on how the first galaxies in the universe were formed. "Everywhere we see the gas in the universe polluted by waste heavy elements from exploding stars," said Robert. "But this cloud seems pristine, unaffected by stars, even 1 .5 billion years after the storm." " If it has any heavy elements at all, it must be less than 1/10,000 of the proportion we see in our Sun. This is extremely low, the most convincing explanation is that it is a true relic of Big Bang. " The results will be published in the magazine Monthly Announcements from the Royal Astronomical Society . A reprint of the paper," Exploring the Origin of a New, Apparently Metal Free Gas Cloud at z = 4.4 "is available online at arxiv.org/abs/1812.05098. Robert and his team used two of Keck Observatory's instruments – Echellette Spectrograph…

Simulation of galaxies and gas in the universe. Within the gas of the (blue) filaments connecting the (orange) galaxies, rare pockets of unclean gases of Big Bang, which in some way have parental leave from the star’s explosive, polluting deaths, are seen as circular shock waves around some orange points. Credit: TNG COOPERATION

A relic cloud of gas, orphan after the storm, has been discovered in the remote universe of astronomers using the world’s most powerful optical telescope, W. M. Keck Observatory at Maunakea, Hawaii.

The discovery of such a rare fossil, led by doctoral student Fred Robert and Professor Michael Murphy at the Swinburne University of Technology, offers new information on how the first galaxies in the universe were formed.

“Everywhere we see the gas in the universe polluted by waste heavy elements from exploding stars,” said Robert. “But this cloud seems pristine, unaffected by stars, even 1

.5 billion years after the storm.”

” If it has any heavy elements at all, it must be less than 1/10,000 of the proportion we see in our Sun. This is extremely low, the most convincing explanation is that it is a true relic of Big Bang. “

The results will be published in the magazine Monthly Announcements from the Royal Astronomical Society . A reprint of the paper,” Exploring the Origin of a New, Apparently Metal Free Gas Cloud at z = 4.4 “is available online at arxiv.org/abs/1812.05098.

Robert and his team used two of Keck Observatory’s instruments – Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) and High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) – to observe the spectrum of a quasar behind gas clouds. [19659005] The quarry, which emits a strong glow of material falling in a super-massive black hole, provides a light source against which the hydrogen’s spectral shadows can be seen.

“We targeted quasars where former researchers had only seen shadows from hydrogen and not from heavy elements in low-quality spectra, says Robert. “This lets us discover such a rare fossil fast with the precious time on the Keck Observatory’s twin telescope.”

The only two other fossil clouds were discovered in 2011 by Professor Michele Fumagalli of Durham University, John O & Meara, formerly a professor at St Michael’s College and now the new chief researcher at Keck Observatory, and Professor J . Xavier Prochaska at the University of California, Santa Cruz; Both Fumagalli and O & Meara co-authorize this new research on the third fossil cloud.

“The first two were serendipitous discoveries, and we thought they were the top of the iceberg, but no one has discovered anything like it – they are clearly very rare and hard to see. It’s great to finally discover a systematic, says O & # 39, Meara.

“It is now possible to investigate for these fossil relics in the Big Bang,” Murphy says. “It will tell us exactly how rare they are and help us understand how some gas formed stars and galaxies in the early universe, and why some did not. “


Explore further:
Astronomers find untouched clouds of primordial gas from the early universe

More information:
“To investigate the origin of a new, apparently metal-free gas cloud at z = 4.4,” arxiv.org/abs/1812.05098

Journal Reference:
Monthly announcements from the Royal Astronomical Society

Provided by:
W. M. Keck Observatory

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