1st maps of massive, translucent gas clouds reveal clues about the early universe

The reference paper cited is interesting. Resolving the H i in damped Lyman α systems that power star formation | Nature

Oxygen shows up in the lines along with C, some metals are present. These are not Big Bang primordial gas clouds created during the postulated BBN phase before the CMBR forms. The redshift z = 2.5 so look back distance a bit more than 11 Gly. The size of the universe when these gas clouds appeared in the BB model is about 5.5 Gly radius so not more than 10 or 11 Gly diameter universe, much smaller than what we see today according to astronomy when the clouds appeared. The comoving radial distance places the 4D space for the gas clouds beyond 19 Gly, space is expanding faster than c velocity to interpret these clouds and redshifts. LAMBDA - Links to Calculators (nasa.gov)

As the space.com article concludes, "The most amazing thing about the DLAs we observed is that they aren't unique — they seem to have similarities in structure, host galaxies were detected in both and their masses indicate that they contain enough fuel for the next generation of star formation," Bordoloi said in the statement. "With this new technology at our disposal, we are going to be able to dig deeper into how stars formed in the early universe."

These gas clouds under observation are not primordial gas clouds created before the CMBR that birthed Population III stars. Such gas clouds are yet to be confirmed.


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