The first stars to be born in the universe emerged later than thought according to a recent ESA study.
According to new, more exact, data from Europe’s Max Planck observatory the so called ‘great ignition’ of the first stars took place approximately 560 million years after the Big Bang while earlier estimates using data from the American WMAP satellite pointed to 420 million years.
The Max Planck observatory satellite used to collect data is designed to measure cosmic background radiation. This radiation was released just after the Big Bang and has only just reached our part of the universe.
With the help of minor temperature difference combined with polarization data found in this 13.8 billion year old signal scientists where able to determine when the first stars and galaxies came to be.
'Light is polarised when it vibrates in a preferred direction, something that may arise as a result of photons (the particles of light) bouncing off other particles. this is exactly what happened when the cosmic background radiation originated in the early Universe.'