The Fate of the First Galaxies

The formation of the first generation of galaxies, Population III,  marks the transition between the end of the "Dark Ages" and the beginning of the "Enlightenment" in the history of the Universe. In this epoch, the universe starts becoming complex and differentiate. The heavy-elements, from which planets and the life originates, are created for the first time.

The formation of the first stars in each Population III galaxy throughout the universe is interconnected.  The fate of  stars is determined by their own feedback which self-regulates galaxy formation on cosmological scales. When a galaxy  produces too many stars it is condemned to die, but, from its ashes, a newborn galaxy is formed.  The star formation in the early universe is dynamic, regulated, and  equally distributed between each galaxy.  The amount of ionizing photons produced by a galaxy cannot exceed a fixed limit. If that happens, star formation is suppressed in that region of the universe.  Many galaxies are formed, and each one has similar luminosity. This mechanism prevents Population III galaxies from re-ionizing the universe. But many short bursts of star formation, produce the bulk of the mass in stars and heavy-elements in the universe even when normal galaxies start to be numerous (at redshift 10).


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