Charlotte Mason awarded large grant from the Carlsberg Foundation

Charlotte Mason has received the "Semper Ardens: Accelerate" grant from the Carlsberg Foundation of DKK 5,000,000. The grant will be used to investigate how, and when, the first stars in the Universe formed.


How did the first star form in the Universe?

During the last half year, the James Webb Space Telescope has brought us closer to the "cosmic dawn", marking the advent of the first luminous sources. But exactly when, and in particular how, did the first stars form?

Over the coming years, Charlotte Mason, associate professor at the Cosmic Dawn Center, will bring us closer to an answer to this question, aided by the Semper Ardens: Accelerate grant of DKK 5,000,000 (or roughly €672,000), recently  awarded to her by the Carlsberg Foundation.

Possible with James Webb

As the first stars formed from primordial gas — gas which had not yet been enriched by elements heavier than helium — star formation in the very early Universe proceeded very different from today, resulting in much more massive stars than we see in the present-day Universe.

At least that's what theoretical calculations and computer models  predict. But since these epoch are still observationally untrodden territory, we still have not observed any of these stars.

With the new James Webb telescope this may change. Webb has already proven its ability to look farther back in time than ever before, and the prospects of detecting these very first stars may now be within grasp.

In her research, Charlotte Mason will use data from the James Webb Space Telescope, comparing with theoretical models and simulations, to develop a new understanding of how the first stars formed.

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