Most Distant Oxygen Ever Detected In The Universe

Posted: Jun 17 2016, 4:13am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 17 2016, 11:13pm CDT, in Reviews | Latest Science News

Most Distant Oxygen Detected in the Universe
This is an artist's concept of SXDF-NB1006-2. Many young bright stars are located in the galaxy and ionize the gas inside and around the galaxy. Green color indicates the ionized oxygen detected by ALMA, whereas purple shows the distribution of ionized hydrogen detected by the Subaru Telescope, (L) / This is a color composite image of a portion of the Subaru XMM-Newton Deep Survey Field. The red galaxy at the center of the image is the most distant galaxy, SXDF-NB1006-2. (R) Credit: NAOJ
  • Oxygen Deposits discovered by Astronomers’ Telescopes at a Distance of 13.1 Billion Light Years

Some oxygen deposits have been discovered by the astronomers’ telescopes at a distance of 13 billion light years from our home planet.

The universe out there is a massive cornucopia of many elements. At its inception there was only hydrogen and helium which were present in a hot ionized form. This tangle of gases continued simmering in space until the stars began to undergo formation.

In those stars, the creation of carbon and oxygen began to take place. However, now astronomers have peered into the depths of space and seen evidence of the first deposits of oxygen in the known universe.

The galaxy we are talking about is more than 13 billion light years away from our earth. It has lent the scientists a lot of insight into the early stars in the universe.

The experts are able to get a better understanding of galactogenesis through this new discovery. Part of the quest is to search for heavy elements in the early stages of the universe.

After the Big Bang took place, hydrogen, helium and lithium were existent. The distant galaxy that was observed contains one tenth the oxygen found in our sun.

Such a small amount was to be expected since way back then the universe was just in its nascent phase and few stars had formed in its context.

This galaxy was termed SXDF-NB1006-2 and it was spotted four years ago. 400,000 years after the Big Bang, hydrogen atoms coalesced from the cooling and combinations of electrons and ions.

For a long time things remained in a stable state until the first stars began to undergo formation. That was when reionization began in earnest. Carbon and oxygen which form the basis of life on earth also got formed.

What led to reionization remains a mystery though. Looking into such far off pavilions of space is a difficult job for astronomers. Even the best astronomers could hardly catch a glimpse of an object that far away.

The distant galaxy could be the light source responsible for re-ionization in the cosmos. More research will take place regarding this discovery in the future. By then the instruments of analysis and observational tools will have been honed to a razor blade too.

This will boost the value of the results obtained from a thorough study of the phenomenon. For now, the oxygen present in this distant galaxy is a wonder to behold and contemplate.

The findings of this study got published in this week's Science.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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