Searching for the Oldest Stars: Ancient Relics from the Early Universe

November 30, 2020
Searching for the Oldest Stars: Ancient Relics from the Early Universe

Astronomers study the oldest observable stars in the universe inmuch the same way that archaeologists study ancient artifacts onEarth. Here, Anna Frebel—who is credited with discovering severalof the oldest and most primitive stars using the world's largesttelescopes—takes readers into the far-flung depths of space andtime to provide a gripping firsthand account of the cutting-edgescience of stellar archaeology.Weaving the latest findings in astronomy with her own compellinginsights as one of the world's leading researchers in the field,Frebel explains how sections of the night sky are "excavated" inthe hunt for these extremely rare relic stars—some of which havebeen shining for more than 13 billion years—and how thisastonishing quest is revealing tantalizing new details about theearliest times in the universe. She vividly describes how the veryfirst stars formed soon after the big bang and then exploded assupernovae, leaving behind chemical fingerprints that wereincorporated into the ancient stars we can still observe today. Sheshows how these fingerprints provide clues to the cosmic origin ofthe elements, early star and galaxy formation, and the assemblyprocess of the Milky Way. Along the way, Frebel recounts her ownstories of discovery, offering an insider's perspective on thisexciting frontier of science.Lively and accessible, this book sheds vital new light on theorigins and evolution of the cosmos while providing a unique lookinto life as an astronomer.