Manual Origins: How the Planets, Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe Began

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Paul Geil Astronomers believe our universe began with the Big Bang The formation of galaxies is a mystery waiting to be solved. NASA Astronomers refer to this reionisation period, during which the gas in the universe went from being almost completely atomic to almost completely ionised, as the end of the Dark Ages of the universe.

Putting the pieces together Reionisation was an important milestone in the history of the universe for two reasons. What next?

The origins of the universe facts and information

The next generation of space telescopes will help our search for answers. Such work will underpin our quest to understand the first galaxies. You might also like An image taken by the Hubble telescope of NGC , a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. The universe is home to a dizzying number of stars and planets. But the vast bulk of the universe is thought to be invisible dark matter.

Illustris Collaboration.

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Galileo thought Saturn looked a bit like the head of a teddy bear with two big ears. He thought it may be made of three planets. Community Community standards Republishing guidelines Friends of The Conversation Research and Expert Database Analytics Events Our feeds Donate Company Who we are Our charter Our team Our blog Partners and funders Resource for media Contact us Stay informed and subscribe to our free daily newsletter and get the latest analysis and commentary directly in your inbox. White et al. Artist's view of Star Formation in the Early Universe.

Painting by Adolf Schaller.

The Origin of the Universe

Currently under construction in the thin, dry air of northern Chile's Atacama desert at an altitude of 5, meters above sea level, ALMA will initially be composed of 66 high-precision antennas working together at millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. Herschel image of the region of massive star formation in the molecular cloud, W3. The core of the nebula, the proto-star, heats up the most and starts to glow red hot. Soon the pressure and temperature are so great that the nuclei of hydrogen atoms begin to fuse together to form helium.


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This nuclear reaction releases huge amount of energy. The "thermonuclear fires" are lit; a star is born! The energy release yields an outward pressure and the gravitational contraction stops.


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The star's core cools and begins to contract again. This secondary contraction increases the pressure and temperature of the star's core. Intermediate mass stars 0. The star's atmosphere is blown off as an expanding ring planetary nebula and the remainder of the star becomes a white dwarf. In high mass stars 8 - 20 times our sun the pressures and temperatures generated in the secondary contraction phase is so great that massive nucleii fuse together forming the largest elements of the periodic table in a stupendous explosion called a supernova.

Supernovae spread these elements through interstellar space where they can merge with other nebulae and form new stars.

Timeline of the Big Bang Theory

In very high mass stars 20 - times the size of our sun , the mass, and therefore gravity is so great that when it goes into its late contraction phase the pressure in the interior is so great that matter cannot withstand it. Matter collapses.


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A black hole is born. The cloud was made largely of hydrogen H with some helium He and small amounts of the remaining naturally occurring chemical elements. The initial rotation or tumbling motion was accelerated as the nebula contracted, like a spinning skater who pulls in his arms spins faster. The cloud became a disc.

The History of Earth - How Our Planet Formed - Full Documentary HD

Within the disc, the largest concentration of matter was in the center.