Forming The Universe; The Dark Ages

Forming The Universe; The Dark Ages

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The Dark Ages symbolize a very important part in human existence and human history. To understand where the universe is going, we must know where the universe has been.

What Are The Dark Ages?

The dark ages — an era of darkness that existed before the first stars and galaxies; These times mostly remain a mystery because there is so little of it to see. Scientists are still figuring out how to learn the secrets of how the universe came into being.

In The dark ages, which are our origins, the first stars formed and created the heavy elements we are made of today. To put everything in prospect, scientists estimate that the creation of the universe is 13.7 billion years old.

Our existence results from these first generations of stars; we’re examining our roots when we investigate the dark ages. Before the dark ages of the universe, the universe was so hot that all the particles that existed were divided into positively charged nuclei and negatively charged particles. These electrically energized atoms barricaded all light radiation from moving quickly.  

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Nearly 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the universe cooled down enough for atoms to recombine into particles, conceding the first light in the cosmos to finally shine from the Big Bang. Still, what came following were the mysterious dark ages of the universe — there was no other light, as the stars were not born yet. Popular models of the universe imply the earliest galaxies began forming about 100 million years subsequent the Big Bang, signaling the start of the close of the dark ages.

Mysteries waiting to be solved 

Many questions arise when discussing the dark ages. Where did the monstrously large black holes seen at the hearts of virtually all large galaxies come from? The Milky Way has a black hole about 4 million times the mass of the sun, and some galaxies have black holes a billion solar masses large, this apparently holds true even for ancient galaxies such as ULAS J1120+0641, which had a central black hole 2 billion times the sun’s mass, only 770 million years after the Big Bang.

“That’s not a lot of time to build such black holes,” Loeb an astronomy professor at Harvard University said. “How did these form? What are the seeds of these black holes? ‘Also, a significant enigma of the dark ages is how dark matter — the as-yet-unidentified material making up about 85 percent of all value in the universe — might have affected the creation of the first universes. This quandary is intensified by the fact’ that we don’t know what the nature of dark matter is,” Loeb stated. 

The leading candidates for dark matter are currently particles that interact only weakly with ordinary matter and with each other. However, Loeb wonders if dark matter particles actually might interact with each other more than researchers generally suspect, given the behavior of nearby small galaxies. “Suppose we assume dark matter is non-interacting when people do simulations of the evolution of galaxies such as the Milky Way. In that case, there should be many satellite galaxies around it,” Loeb said.

What The Beginning Of Stars Held

Incredible heat and pressure are found in the cores of these stars. Moderately uncomplicated elements such as hydrogen and helium were formed into more complex parts, such as carbon life as we comprehend it. Conclusions are based on the oxygen we breathe.

“Currently, we think the very first stars were more massive than the sun — 10 times, maybe even 100 times more massive— and very short-lived, maybe living only a few million years,” Loeb said. However, some predictions hint that under some conditions, more petite stars could have appeared back when. These would be very poor in heavy elements, and we might be able to see them today if they exist, lurking in the halo of the Milky Way. Were the first stars different from present-day stars? If we can, we’d like to see them find out. 

Secrets of the dark ages examine the dark ages; one street expert is pursuing tracking for the earliest stars and galaxies. Because it takes light time to explore, light that originated from far away must come off long ago. 

As such, astronomers look deep in space to peer back in time. “It’s similar to archaeology — the deeper you dig, the more ancient layers you uncover,” Loeb said. “Here, we’re essentially digging in space. One essential tool for looking at the ancient past has recently drawn a great deal of controversy for its delays and cost — the James Webb Space Telescope. Furthermore, imagine this space beacon ever flies. In that situation, it could help explain much about the ancient universe by catching the remarkably faint light radiation from the first galaxies.

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“This telescope is the best support we have to truly image the first generation of universes,” Loeb said. Another strategy for learning more about the dark ages would be looking at the scars that early stars and galaxies would have inflicted on the hydrogen surrounding them. Even cold hydrogen gives off light in radio waves with a specific wavelength of 21 centimeters. 

By tuning in on that wavelength, scientists could thus see how this hydrogen changed over time in response to stellar radiation. Several radio telescope arrays under development will detect these 21-centimeter radio waves, Loeb said. 

Future research could also detect the ripples in space-time known as gravity waves, released when black holes from early galaxies merged with each other. An even more ambitious project known as LISA could detect mergers of supermassive black holes in distant galaxies once on the books. Still, budgetary woes have officially scrapped it for now.”

It took quite a bit more than seven days to create the universe as we know it today. SPACE.com looks at the mysteries of the heavens in our eight-part series: The History & Future of the Cosmos.

Bibliography

“The Universe’s Dark Ages: How Our Cosmos Survived | Space.” n.p., 1 Jan. 1970.Web. 24 Apr. 2021.

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