Download Cosmic Dawn: The Search for the First Stars and Galaxies by George Rhee PDF

By George Rhee

The seen universe contains stars and galaxies. one of many demanding situations of astronomy is to appreciate how galaxies and stars first got here into life over 13 billion years in the past. This ebook tells the tale of our quest to unravel this challenge. 400 years after Galileo used his telescope to find the moons of Jupiter, we're utilizing new telescopes and tools to go looking for the 1st galaxies to shape after the large Bang. This publication brings the reader to the present frontier of this topic and lays out many of the interesting advancements we will count on within the years yet to come.

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Extra resources for Cosmic Dawn: The Search for the First Stars and Galaxies (Astronomers' Universe)

Sample text

The Three Pillars of the Big Bang Theory 45 The Second Pillar of the Big Bang: The Cosmic Background Radiation In 1967, the discovery of the cosmic background radiation provided strong support for the Big Bang theory. In fact the radiation’s existence had been predicted 20 years earlier. To understand the importance of the background radiation we have to first consider what happens to matter in the early universe. The density of the universe was higher in the past than it is today since objects were closer together.

What about galaxy velocities? To understand how we measure velocities we must understand something about light and atoms. Atoms are built from particles called electrons, protons, and neutrons. The protons and neutrons are located in the nucleus of the atom, and the electrons orbit this nucleus. Atoms consist mostly of empty space. If you make a fist and imagine your fist is the size of an atomic nucleus, then the atom is as big as the US Capitol and if it happens to be a hydrogen atom then it has a single electron like a moth flitting about in an empty cathedral.

The moral for astronomy students is to “know the data”. When one is familiar with observations, one has a feel for the experimental accuracy and possible errors that is hard to get by simply reading the literature. A key issue in the Great Debate was that of the amount of absorption of starlight by gas and dust. Robert Trumpler (1886– 1956) was the first to demonstrate the existence of an absorbing medium in-between the stars. Born in Switzerland, Trumpler came to work in the United States, spending most of his research career at Lick Observatory, where he studied star clusters.

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