A star hides inside a star

Just when you thought story-telling in astronomy and cosmology had reached its peak we read an even more bizarre story.1,2 It is nothing more than extreme special pleading that the big-bang-believing astronomers must engage in to maintain their story.

The Milky Way. (Credit: Roanish, Flickr)

Big bang cosmologist believe that the first stars in the universe were what they call Population III stars. These were the stars that allegedly first formed after the big bang. They allegedly were borne with very few elements other than hydrogen and helium. The reason for this is that the big bang itself allegedly could only make hydrogen, helium and a little bit of lithium.

But that presented a problem for big bang cosmology as a viable story for the origin of the universe. Where are all the Population III stars now? Surely some of them must still be around? No … none have been found! As a prediction of the standard big bang model that is a serious problem.

In the recently published story,1,2 astronomers claim that they have found evidence of one of the oldest stars in the universe–a star that lived 13.5 billion years ago–hidden inside a star that’s nearly as old.

But no such 13.5 billion-year-old Pop III was observed. They believe the star that was observed was formed from a Pop III star that had exploded a long time ago. And because the supernova was such a weak explosion most of the stuff that was ejected was sucked back into the observed star, which they claim is its offspring.

But how do they know that there is a star hiding in that star? The article reports:

“The pattern of elements we found in the star in our galaxy reveals traces of its ancestor,” Nordlander added. “That long-dead star exploded as a supernova – a fairly feeble one at that too.

What this means is that the amount of iron detected in the stars was the lowest ever detected. Then with computer simulations they arrived at their conclusion.

This is another feeble attempt at story-telling to support the big bang origin of the universe. The non-existent unobserved Pop III star is allegedly 13.5 billion years old. (That sentence in itself make little sense.) However they did not observe that. It is a case of the story being the most important thing. And whatever they observe has to be fitted into that story.  

The story has now been updated to include the new item. The article states:

“It’s unlikely that any of the universe’s earliest [Pop III] stars survived, but the evidence of an older star found inside [the star they observed] can offer a glimpse into the early days of the universe.”

They assume what they intend to prove. The universe came from the big bang and nothing else can enter the story. So the conclusion here is that the amount of iron and carbon found in the star is evidence for the star harbouring a star that formed 13.5 billion years ago, just 200 million years after the big bang.  Just pure story-telling at its finest.

Reference

1. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, “Evidence of 14B year-old ‘time machine’ star found 35,000 light-years from Earth”, http://www.foxnews.com/science/14b-year-old-star-found-earth;

2. T. Nordlander et al., “The lowest detected stellar Fe abundance: the halo star SMSS J160540.18−144323.1”, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 488(1): L109–L113, September 2019; https://doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slz109

Four high redshift quasars puzzle astronomers

A team of astronomers led by Joseph Hennawi of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, using the W.M.  Keck observatory in Hawaii, have discovered the first quadruple quasar: four quasars with approximately the same redshift of about z ~ 2 and located on the sky in close proximity.  The online article1 from Max Planck Institute is titled “Quasar quartet puzzles scientists” with the subtitle “Astronomers must rethink models about the development of large-scale cosmic structures.” This is a discovery of the first known group of four quasars with the same redshift found in the same location on the sky. A research paper has been accepted for publication in the journal Science and a preprint is now available.2

The quartet resides in one of the most massive structures ever discovered in the distant universe, and is surrounded by a giant nebula of cool dense gas. Either the discovery is a one-in-ten-million coincidence, or cosmologists need to rethink their models of quasar evolution and the formation of the most massive cosmic structures.1

4 quasars zoom

Caption from original article: Rare find: This image depicts the region in space with the quadruple quasars. The four quasars are indicated by arrows. The quasars are embedded in a giant nebula of cool dense gas visible in the image as a blue haze. The nebula has an extent of one million light-years across, and these objects are so distant that their light has taken nearly 10 billion years to reach telescopes on Earth. This false color image is based on observations with the 10-m-Keck-telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Credit: Arrigoni-Battaia & Hennawi / MPIA  (Ref. 1)

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