How the Cosmic Dark Age Ended

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 51-53
DOI: 10.1126/science.1065713

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How and when did the first stars form in our universe? Recent computational studies are beginning to provide an answer to this question. In his Perspective, Rees highlights the report by Abel et al., who report three-dimensional calculations of star formation in the core of a collapsing primordial cloud. The first stars began to form just 100 million years after the Big Bang; only one atom in a thousand got incorporated into first-generation stars. It will be an even greater challenge to compute the complicated internal gas dynamics and feedback in later, more complex systems.