Traces of Dust from the Dawn of Time

The further out in space you look, the deeper into the past you go. Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:

The first stars in the universe are called Population III stars and are believed to be formed from a sea of essentially pure helium and hydrogen leftover from the Big Bang itself, containing no metals. They’ve yet to be found, but now scientists say they’ve analysed observations from the ESA’s Very Large Telescope facility to find a direct descendant: AS0039, a star in the Sculptor dwarf galaxy 290,000 light years away that the study says is the “most metal-poor star so far discovered in any external galaxy.”

“The explanation of its uniqueness is that the very ancient stellar fossil studied was formed in an environment enriched by the chemicals released by a first star of about 20 solar masses exploded as a hypernova, i.e. with an energy 10 times higher than that of normal supernovae of similar mass,” Asa Skuladottir and Stefania Salvadori, two co-authors of the study from the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Florence, said in a statement.

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