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Space Science

Pristine Big Bang Gas Found 220

Posted by Soulskill
from the drill-baby-drill dept.
New submitter cekerr sends this quote from Discovery News: "U.S. scientists have found two interstellar clouds of original gas, which contain only original elements created moments after the universe's birth (abstract). Unlike everything else in the universe, the gas clouds have never mingled with elements forged later in stars. The existence of pristine gas that formed minutes after the Big Bang explosion, some 13.7 billion years ago, had been predicted, but never before observed."
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Pristine Big Bang Gas Found

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  • by cobrausn (1915176) on Friday November 11, 2011 @12:51PM (#38026378)
    I hate to feed the trolls, but just so you know, the big bang theory was brought to you by Georges Lemaître [wikipedia.org], a Belgian priest and physics professor at Catholic University of Louvain.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:07PM (#38026584)

    No, it's hydrogen and hydrogen. Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen, not helium.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:13PM (#38026678)

    well, seeing that a religion is an organization based around an ideology

    False. Many religions are not organized, and many organizations based around ideologies are not religions.

    and I do believe there is an atheist organization

    False. There is no organization that represents even a significant minority of atheists, let alone all of them. There is no atheist equivalent of the Catholic Church.

    and it is an ideology

    False. Lack of belief in a god is not an ideology.

    Yeah, I'm going with atheism is a religion.

    Then you are either ignorant or lying.

  • by RMingin (985478) on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:54PM (#38027372) Homepage

    Three verses. One of the few MP3s I've purchased from Amazon.

    Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
    Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait...
    The Earth began to cool,
    The autotrophs began to drool,
    Neanderthals developed tools,
    We built a wall (we built the pyramids),
    Math, science, history, unravelling the mystery,
    That all started with the big bang! BANG!

    Since the dawn of man is really not that long,
    As every galaxy was formed in less time
    than it takes to sing this song.
    A fraction of a second and the elements were made.
    The bipeds stood up straight,
    The dinosaurs all met their fate,
    They tried to leap but they were late
    And they all died (they froze their asses off)

    The oceans and Pangaea
    See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!
    Set in motion by the same big bang!

    It all started with a big BANG!

    It's expanding ever outward but one day
    It will pause, then start to go the other way,
    Collapsing ever inward,
    we won't be here, it wont be heard
    Our best and brightest figure that
    it'll make an even bigger bang!

    Australopithecus would really have been sick of us
    Debating how we're here,
    they're catching deer (we're catching viruses)
    Religion or astronomy, Encarta, Deuteronomy
    It all started with a big bang!

    Music and mythology, Einstein and astrology
    It all started with a big bang!
    It all started with a big BANG!

  • by JohnnyDanger (680986) on Friday November 11, 2011 @01:55PM (#38027386)

    There is probably a cloud containing nothing but radon (the heaviest elemental gas) somewhere in the universe as well, right? If that exists would it disprove the big bang, or would it simply have been there by chance for billions of years, just like this one could have been?

    Hydrogen and helium isotopes (and a little bit of lithium and beryllium) are made in the Big Bang. Everything heavier is made in stars. So these pure clouds can exist only as long as there are no stars nearby to pollute them with heavier elements. Stars are common in the modern universe, which is why it has been so hard to find such clouds.

    Radon in particular is made in supernova explosions (and by the decay of radioactives which were made in supernova explosions) and there is no natural mechanism to separate it back out from mixtures of supernova debris. So in a sense, yes, if a massive, primordial, pure radon cloud was out there, it would disprove the Big Bang theory's prediction of nucleosynthesis, which can only make light elements.

  • by stevelinton (4044) <sal@dcs.st-and.ac.uk> on Friday November 11, 2011 @02:11PM (#38027630) Homepage

    Large bright stars don't last nearly as long as smaller dimmer ones like the Sun, and it's the big ones that actually explode at the end of their lives and spray heavy elements into the interstellar medium, so, especially in the early life of a galaxy, gas may get processed through many generations of big stars.

  • Re:A question. (Score:5, Informative)

    by PvtVoid (1252388) on Friday November 11, 2011 @02:48PM (#38028182)

    If the big bang was more energetic than as supernova why did it only create Hydrogen and Helium? Why not at least some Lithium?

    Lithium was produced in the Big Bang, but in very tiny amounts, less than a part per billion. No heavier elements were produced because of a "bottleneck" caused by the fact that there are no stable nuclei with atomic mass 5 or 8. Massive stars get around this bottleneck by the triple-alpha [wikipedia.org] process, i.e. by three-body collisions of helium, which requires higher temperatures and longer time scales than were available in Big Bang nucleosynthesis, which lasted only a few minutes.

  • by DM9290 (797337) on Friday November 11, 2011 @03:00PM (#38028320) Journal

    The average star age is 1-10 billion years

    Very massive stars don't last nearly as long.

    From source http://www.universetoday.com/25160/how-long-do-stars-last/ [universetoday.com]

    "The mass of a star defines its lifespan. The least massive stars will live the longest, while the most massive stars in the Universe will use their fuel up in a few million years and end in a spectacular supernova explosion. So, how long do stars last?" ...
    "How long do stars last? The biggest stars last only millions, the medium-sized stars last billions, and the smallest stars can last trillions of years."

  • by Rei (128717) on Friday November 11, 2011 @04:33PM (#38029474) Homepage

    But... you don't seem to understand. You see, the sky daddy has a son, a cosmic Jewish zombie who can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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