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Webb telescope finds signs of the largest stars in the universe

PARIS: The James Webb Space Telescope has helped astronomers find the first chemical signs of giant stars, which were the brightest stars in the early universe and were called “celestial monsters.”

So far, the biggest stars that have been seen have about 300 times the mass of our Sun. But a new study says that the giant star has the mass of between 5,000 and 10,000 Suns.

The study was done by a group of European scientists. In 2018, they proposed the idea of supermassive stars as a way to explain one of the biggest questions in astronomy.

Astronomers have been puzzled for decades by how different the stars in globular clusters, which are groups of many stars, are.

Most of the clusters are very old, and they can hold millions of stars in an area that is not very big.

As science gets better, more and more globular clusters are being found. These are thought to be the missing link between the first stars and galaxies in the universe.

There are about 180 globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy, which has more than 100 billion stars.

But the question still stands: Why do the stars in these clusters have so many different chemical elements, even though they probably all formed from the same cloud of gas at about the same time?

Rampaging ‘seed star’

Many stars have things in them that would need a lot of heat to make, like aluminum, which would need a temperature of up to 70 million degrees Celsius.

That is a lot hotter than what scientists think the cores of stars get to, which is around 15-20 million degrees Celsius, which is about the same as the Sun.

So, the scientists came up with a possible solution: a giant star that is going crazy and spewing out chemicals that are like “pollution.” They think that these huge stars are made when stars in globular clusters crash into each other over and over again.

Astrophysicist Corinne Charbonnel from the University of Geneva, who led the study, said that “a kind of seed star would swallow more and more stars.”

It would finally turn into “a big nuclear reactor that keeps taking in matter and sending a lot of it out,” she said.

She also said that this “pollution” will feed new stars as they form, giving them a wider range of chemicals the closer they are to the giant star. But the team needed more evidence to support their idea.

‘Like finding a bone’

They found them in the galaxy GN-z11, which is more than 13 billion light years away. The light we see from it comes from only 440 million years after the Big Bang.

It was found in 2015 by the Hubble Space Telescope, and until recently, it was the largest galaxy ever seen. This made it a clear early target for the James Webb, which took over from Hubble as the most powerful space telescope and started sharing its first observations last year.