Astronomers were able to detect for the first time signals related to the appearance of the first stars 13.6 billion years ago, shortly after the birth of the Universe, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
The observation of these signals by a small radio telescope installed in Australia still needs to be confirmed by other instruments and other teams of researchers.
But the intensity of the signals observed suggests that the Universe has cooled faster than we thought, which could lead to a review of cosmological models and perhaps to better understand the mysterious dark matter, invisible to telescopes.
“The apparent detection of the signature of the first stars in the Universe will be a breakthrough if it stands the test of time,” says Brian Schmidt, 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, who confides his “excitement”.
“We must remain very cautious for the moment,” said for his part to AFP Benoit Semelin, astrophysicist at the Observatoire de Paris. “But if the observation is confirmed, it is a major discovery because it will involve changing models on the birth of the Universe,” he adds.