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Paper: Embers of the Dark Ages: Recombination Radiation from the First Stars
Volume: 393, New Horizons in Astronomy: Frank N. Bash Symposium 2007
Page: 287
Authors: Wilson, A.; Bromm, V.; Johnson, J.L.
Abstract: The first stars in the Universe (the so-called Population III, or Pop III) formed a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, at the end of the Cosmic Dark Ages. Arising from tiny fluctuations in the primordial cosmic matter, their presence forever changed the Universe. Some of these stars died as energetic supernovae, whereas others, depending on their mass, directly collapsed into massive black holes. We here consider the latter case, and in particular ask: How does the nebula of ionized, primordial gas that surrounds the remnant black hole recombine after the Population III star’s nuclear engine turns off, thus allowing the gas to cool? And: What kind of recombination radiation is emitted during this process? Specifically, we derive the line luminosities for Lyα, Hα, and He II λ1640 from the nebula left behind by a 100MSolar star at a redshift of z ∼ 23, using sophisticated computer simulations to construct snapshots of the ionized gas as it evolves with time. We also make predictions for the line fluxes that could be observed at z = 0 with future telescopes. The James Webb Space Telescope will possibly see far enough into the depths of time and space to make the first observations of these crucial first sources of light.
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