back to article Deep in remote Oz, an antenna has 'heard' the oldest stars

A group of US researchers working at a remote site in north-west Australia have identified signals from the oldest stars ever observed, born roughly 180 million years after the Big Bang. The observation has also set astronomers a brand-new puzzle: the signal's too strong, and that might indicate an interaction between baryons …

  1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Oldest stars are way too loud?

    That'll be Keith Richards then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oldest stars are way too loud?

      He's not too loud, you're too old!

  2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Dark matter?

    The dark matter could be heated ... Apart from not knowing what the dark matter is and not actually knowing what 'temperature' it has (if any as dark matter may not store energy) and then assuming it's interacting with radio signals which counteracts current theories ... this explanation holds up well ...

    If this was the case we should currently see 1.4GHz absorbance spikes all around galaxies, which we don't.

    The findings are very interesting and need following up, I think the explanation of the theoretical magnitude mismatch is somewhat tenuous and should be consigned to the back of of very used envelope.

  3. Terje

    Why dark matter?

    So what is wrong with the obvious solution, the hydrogen was cooler then expected, because something in our modeling of how hot it should be is off for some reason, no need to involve dark matter through an unknown process.

    icon because that's what those early stars did very very quickly.

    1. John Mangan

      Re: Why dark matter?

      "no need to involve dark matter through an unknown process."

      So what unknown process do you wish to invoke?

      1. Terje

        Re: Why dark matter?

        I would start looking at the models of the universes evolution after the big bang, remember those models have quite a lot of fiddly bits and black magic involved as is.

        While I think there is well enough evidence for the existence of dark matter I don't agree with the the conclusion that since our models of the early universe say that it should be temperature X and we measure temperature Y the obvious way to solve it is to dump the energy from the hydrogen to the dark matter through a process that as far as we have been able to tell through a lot of expensive experiments don't work in the universes current state, sure something may have caused the dark matter (that we still don't know what it is) to couple to matter and soak up the energy, but since we thus far have no evidence whatsoever for it interacting with matter in any way but gravity it feels like "we have no idea of how to consolidate the models and data so let's invoke dark matter through magic process and call it a day"

        The result is interesting enough as it is without trying to force it to fit the models through doubtful means.

        1. John Mangan

          Re: Why dark matter?

          I see what you are saying but perhaps fiddling with the evolution models carries a much wider blast radius of unintended consequences - too many inter-dependencies - and the dark matter hypothesis really is the simplest and first place to look for an explanation.

          I imagine that with the difference in temperature we are talking truly colossal amounts of energy (for a whole universe) and it's hard to massage the models to just explain it away?

          1. Terje

            Re: Why dark matter?

            I agree totally with that, which is what makes it so exiting!

            Maybe the dark matter did soak up the energy, maybe somehow the energy was involved in creating the dark matter altogether, the problem is we just don't know how dark matter work apart from it interacting through gravity, thus invoking dark matter to solve a problem that is not gravity related seems a bit odd to me without further evidence for it actually being able to interact in other ways, or someone figures out a neat mechanism to feed the energy through a gravity interaction.

            I feel like dark matter is on the verge of turning into the astrophysics version of the 80s turbo, add it to anything even if it has nothing to do with the actual thing just to look cool.

    2. You aint sin me, roit

      Re: Why dark matter?

      Slow down that pesky inflation and let things cool naturally. Or speed it up for a fridge effect. After all, inflation is just a hypothetical solution to a bunch of other problems, why not let it sort out this too?

  4. IHateWearingATie

    Utter rubbish

    It's clearly that microwave oven at the Big Bang Burger Bar doesn't have sufficient shielding.

    (With apologies to Douglas Adams)

  5. GidaBrasti

    Bowman? Really?

    Bowman as in "Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL? "?

    Related to Dave by any chance?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Entangled antimatter *just might* be the missing piece of the dark matter puzzle.

  7. Faux Science Slayer

    "Mysterious Dr X says, Universe is NOT Expanding"

    Father of big bang said it was a hoax. In a non big bang Universe there is no dark poop....

  8. PghMike

    I'd make sure that you're not receiving reflected FM radio from some other path than you've accounted for.

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