Help me on the timeline of star formation in the early Universe

In summary, the Webb Space Telescope is revolutionizing astronomy with its ability to conduct spectroscopy on galaxies dating back to 300 million years after the Big Bang. This has led to questions about the presence of heavier elements in such ancient galaxies, with models suggesting they may have formed shortly after the first stars. However, the exact timing and properties of these first stars is still uncertain and can vary depending on model assumptions and measurement uncertainty. Additionally, the relationship between galaxy redshift and distance is also a factor in determining the age of these galaxies. With the help of Webb, we hope to gain a better understanding of the formation of the first stars and the evolution of the universe.
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BWV
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Referencing this posted on the Webb thread:
https://www.quantamagazine.org/two-...ce-telescope-is-reshaping-astronomy-20220725/

So will they able to do spectroscopy on GLASS-z13, the galaxy dating 300M after the big bang? Do they expect to see any heavier elements in a galaxy that old? When do models suggest the first heavier elements to have formed? Seems like seeing O after only 700M years implies some fairly short-lived supermassive stars

Also, the Wikipedia article on the expansion of the universe lists first stars about 400MY after the Big Bang, but the article references the GLASS-z13 galaxy dating 300MY after?

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  • #2
This is a bit tricky as there are model dependencies which effect when and how exactly stars first form and what properties they will have. Additionally we can't assume all such population III stars formed at the same time between different galaxiesThere is also an assumption dependent relationship between galaxy redshift and distance which only holds if spacetime is homogeneous and anisotropic at some relevant length scale. If there is no longer a direct linear relationship between redshift and distance then the age of that galaxy would be younger so you can think of that date as more of a upper bound on age, i.e. it could be younger but probably not older than that. Everything depends on model assumptions and measurement uncertainty and popular science articles are notoriously bad with either of those concepts making them effectively close to worthless
 
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  • #3
Very massive stars only live a few million years before they go supernova and spew heavier elements into the interstellar medium. We don't know exactly when the first stars began to form, that's one of the things we hope to learn more about from Webb. But as soon as the first stars began to form, it is only a few million years later that we will begin to see stars containing elements like oxygen.
 
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Related to Help me on the timeline of star formation in the early Universe

What is the timeline of star formation in the early Universe?

The timeline of star formation in the early Universe can be divided into three main stages: the formation of the first stars, the formation of galaxies, and the evolution of galaxies over time. The first stars are believed to have formed around 100-300 million years after the Big Bang, while galaxies began forming around 1 billion years after the Big Bang. Over time, galaxies grew in size and complexity, with stars continuing to form within them.

How did the first stars form in the early Universe?

The first stars in the early Universe formed from the collapse of dense regions of gas and dust. These regions were made up of primarily hydrogen and helium, with small amounts of other elements. As the gas and dust collapsed under its own gravity, it became hotter and denser, eventually reaching temperatures and pressures high enough for nuclear fusion to occur, creating the first stars.

What role did dark matter play in the early Universe's star formation?

Dark matter is believed to have played a crucial role in the formation of the first stars in the early Universe. It is thought that the gravitational pull of dark matter helped to pull together the gas and dust clouds, allowing them to collapse and form stars. Without the presence of dark matter, the first stars may not have formed as quickly or at all.

How did the formation of galaxies impact star formation in the early Universe?

The formation of galaxies in the early Universe had a significant impact on star formation. As galaxies grew in size and complexity, they provided more opportunities for gas and dust to come together and form stars. The merging of galaxies also led to an increase in star formation, as the collision of gas clouds triggered the formation of new stars.

How has our understanding of star formation in the early Universe evolved over time?

Our understanding of star formation in the early Universe has evolved significantly over time as new observations and theories have emerged. Early models predicted that stars formed gradually over time, but recent observations have shown that star formation was much more rapid and intense in the early Universe. Additionally, our understanding of the role of dark matter and the impact of galaxy formation on star formation has also evolved as new evidence has been gathered.

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