(ORDO NEWS) — A team of researchers from the Raman Research Institute, India, tried to replicate the results of an experiment called EDGES conducted four years ago, in which a team of Australian researchers were able to detect signs of a “cosmic dawn”.
In their new study, the team describes their method, their results, and concludes that the data obtained by the EDGES experiment team should be questioned.
In 2018, a team of Australian radio astronomers used an instrument called Experiment to Detect the Global Epoch of Reionization Signature (EDGES) to detect signs of a “cosmic dawn” – the light of the universe‘s oldest stars.
This facility was designed to record changes in the state of hydrogen in the interstellar medium under the action of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the first stars. Such changes could theoretically include the transition of hydrogen from a transparent state to a slightly less transparent one.
When the expected changes in the state of hydrogen were recorded during the EDGES experiment, the team claimed that they had found confirmation of a “cosmic dawn” for the first time.
However, over the next four years, until now, no other research team has been able to replicate the results of the Australian team. In the new paper, the researchers tried again, this time placing a device called the Shaped Antenna Measurement of the Background Radio Spectrum (SARAS) on the surface of a salt water reservoir in India.
This place was chosen on purpose – the water in the tank had to have a suitable concentration of salts in order to shield the device from background underground radiation. After selecting a suitable reservoir, the researchers tuned the instrument and searched for a signal indicating a “cosmic dawn”, but their search was fruitless.
The group believes that the failure that has befallen it shows that the results obtained by the Australian team, were wrong. The error could be related to the hardware being used, they added.
The work carried out by this Indian team, however, did not end the discussions. Several other teams are still working on their own experiments to look for traces of “cosmic dawn” in the universe.
The study is published in the journal Nature Astronomy; chief author Saurabh Singh.
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