b'Carnegie Science|Spring/Summer 2020 9big bangcosmic web reionization era quasar Science Matters.presentAn ancient gas cloud discovered by a team including former Carnegie-Princeton fellow Eduardo Baados and Carnegies Michael Rauch and Tom Cooper formed just 850 million years after the Big Bang (inset). Its chemical composition reveals that the first generation of stars formed quickly and rapidly and enriched the universe with the elements they synthesized. Image courtesy Max Planck Societyan element-enriched environment by earlier stellar generations. Looking back in time far enough, one may expect cosmic gas clouds to show the telltale signature of the peculiar element ratios made by the first stars, said Rauch. Peering even farther back, we may ultimately witness the disappearance of mostS cience has informed our understanding of the elements and the emergence of pristine gas.Astronomers have long used quasars to learn about theworld and science will help determine the future for chemical composition of cosmic gas over time, showing howgenerations to come. Carnegie Science is dedicated to different generations of stars enrich their surroundings.providing the freedom and resources needed so the brightest We found this ancient gas cloud when following up on aninvestigators can pioneer new paths to transformative inventory of very distant quasars using the Magellan telescopes at Carnegies Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, explaineddiscoveries in the Earth, space, and life sciences. Baados, who is now a group leader at the Max Planck InstituteYou can include Carnegie Science in your will or trust, in Heidelberg.by beneficiary designation on a retirement account, and Quasars are tremendously luminous objects comprised of enormous black holes accreting matter at the centers of massivemore, to support investigative exploration for future galaxies. Because the gas cloud exists between the quasar andgenerations.Earth, the quasars incredibly bright light must pass through it toSetting up a planned gift for Carnegie Science may have get to Earth. Astronomers can take advantage of this tomany benefits for you and your family. Youll also feel understand the clouds chemistry. This discovery presented an unprecedented opportunity to characterize a gas cloud from thegood knowing that your gift will support future research first billion years of cosmic history.for the benefit of humanity. The team found that the clouds chemical makeup was not as primitive as expected if dominated by the first stars. AlthoughWe wanted to make a meaningful impact on it formed only 850 million years after the Big Bang, its chemicalCarnegie Sciences work in astronomy and abundances were already as high as those typically seen inastrophysics. When we asked what we could cosmic gas clouds that formed several billion years later. do, the resounding answer was to support Apparently, the first generation of stars had already expiredpostdoctoral students. Our planned gift to by the time the cloud formed,establish the Atacama Endowment Fund is our Rauch explained. This showsinvestment in the bright young minds of today that the universe was rapidlyand tomorrow. swamped by the chemicalSigrid Burton and Max Brennan products of laterCarnegie Science Second Century Legacy Society Membersgenerations of stars, even before most of theContact us today for informationpresent-day galaxies were in place. on what gift may be right for you.Advancement OfficePhone:202-939-1122Milan Karol Email: giving@carnegiescience.edu Website: https://carnegiescience.edu/donate/planned-gifts'