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Explaining the visual: Early Stages of Cosmic Reionization

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The visual featured at the top of the page is part of the journal cover of Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology.

It is designed by J. L. Johnson, T. H. Greif, V. Bromm from The University of Texas at Austin.
Visualization captured by Paul A. Navratil from Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

Capturing the essence of the Early Stages of Cosmic Reionization:

  1. First stars blew bubbles of ionized radiation (in blue) into the surrounding primordial gas (in green): illustrated in a frame from a supercomputer simulation depicting the universe 300 million years after the Big Bang. 
  2. The first galaxies were assembled out of the material affected and disturbed by the feedback from the first stars: showed in the simulation (computed on TACC's Ranger) of the impact of radiation from early stars on surrounding primordial gas in the early Universe. 
  3. When a star is active, the surrounding molecular hydrogen is completely destroyed, preventing further star formation. As stars die, radiation levels decline and molecular hydrogen begins to reform, possibly allowing another round of star formation: Green shows the concentration of molecular hydrogen in the primordial gas, while blue shows regions ionized by high-energy radiation from the stars.

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