According to a study published on November 5, scientists said that this star is located in the same Milky Way galaxy as the solar system and was “born” 13.5 billion years ago, which proves that the material structure of this star has an extremely low amount of metals. The star formed about 300 million years after the Big Bang has a small mass and contains very little metal.
The star is called 2MASS J18082002-5104378 B, one of the oldest stars in the universe, located in the Milky Way. 2MASS J18082002-5104378 B formed just a few million years after the Big Bang, an explosion about 13.8 billion years ago that is believed to have created the current universe. The early universe had no metals. Metals are melted in the hearts of first generation stars. When they die, the metal is scattered throughout space. 2MASS J18082002-5104378 B contains the smallest amount of metal of any star ever discovered. Its mass is also very small, just enough to synthesize hydrogen and emit light.
“This discovery shows that the first stars in the universe were not necessarily massive, long-dead stars. Ancient stars can form from very small amounts of material, and some may still exist today. This provides new information about star formation in the early universe,” says astrophysicist Andrew Casey of Monash University.
Scientists once thought that the first stars were very large and short-lived. However, the new discovery shows that small-mass stars are also capable of being born at an early stage. By monitoring them, experts can learn more about the universe several hundred million years after the Big Bang.
“These stars are extremely rare, like finding a needle in a haystack. But the wealth of data from telescopes on the ground and in space has helped to open up great perspectives. We are closer than ever to understanding how stars formed in the early universe,” Casey said.
Astronomers have observed stars that formed just 250 million years after the Big Bang, which is equivalent to 2% of the current age of the universe. To “look back” in time, scientists need new equipment, including the James Webb Space Telescope. This telescope should be launched into space in 2021. The objective is then to determine the time when the first star of the first galaxy was formed.