Facts About Soccer Cleats

When it comes to soccer the cleats play an important role for the players. The cleats are essential, but are ignored by many players. Having a perfect pair for the ground you play on can help you a lot and benefit you in numerous ways. There are certain circumstances in which using the wrong soccer cleats may prove dangerous. Selecting a pair which is comfortable to you is more important rather than buying the one your favorite player wears. There are various kinds of cleats that are available which are suitable for the right seasons and the right ground which you play on.

Rules

The soccer cleats were developed in the 19th century, which actually had studs on them. The first soccer cleats were worn by the king of England in the 16th century. The modern cleats have replaceable studs which makes them convenient to use. According to the rules that apply to the game internationally the players are not compelled to wear cleats. The players can choose to wear anything other than cleats on an artificial turf. The cleats are pretty important when they are to be worn on the grounds with natural grass.

Types

There are different types of cleats you need to know about when you are going to play on different ground conditions. The firm ground cleats (FG) are used on the grounds with dry and natural grass surfaces. As nowadays artificial turfs are used so the companies are producing the cleats which are artificial grass friendly. The soft ground cleats (SG) should be worn on the grounds where the studs penetrate the ground which will give you a good grip. The hard ground cleats (HG) are used on the hard surfaces. The AT- Turf shoes are the priority of the players playing on the artificial turf due to its conical studs. If you are playing soccer indoors then the IN-indoor cleats are perfect for you as they are hard as the rock.

Material

Players like to choose the materials of the cleats in which they are comfortable. The K-leather is a material which molds to the comfort of your foot and it is durable for a long time. The material of this type of leather is soft. There is an option for natural leather as well. The upper area of the cleats is made from leather or goat or calf skin. The synthetic leather cleats are widely in use nowadays with the improved quality of being waterproof. The mesh is used in the cleats which gives a lightweight body.

Categories

The cleats are provided with specific materials in the areas which are used to pass and control the ball are categorized as control cleats. The power cleats have some kind of technology in the zone, which is used to hit the ball. The speed is introduced to the cleat by keeping it lightweight. The heritage cleats contain materials which are used to keep them durable.

Soccer Cleats For Kids

Soccer is one of the kid’s favorite sports. Soccer is the kind of game that requires immense energy and kids are just full of it. They don’t stop, they don’t get beat and that is just what soccer needs. And choosing the perfect pair cleats for them is the parent’s responsibility. For kids, such cleats should be chosen which should be a perfect fit as well as comfortable. The feet of kids are still delicate and need protection. Although kids play in grass field mostly if they happen to play in a place with water or ice on the surface, then cleats help in skidding and prevents from slipping as much as possible. Know all about the cleats before choosing the perfect one for your kid.

When looking for the cleats keep these things in mind. Make sure that the cleats you are choosing are a good fit, not even a little bit loose or tight. If it is loose it can impact the performance and if it is tight then it can give cramps to the kid’s feet. Also, make sure that they are durable as well. Kids apart from playing also do a lot of running. The upper portion should be tight to give a proper fit, but not too tight to squeeze your toes. The cleats should be strong to endure all that. Also, small kids look after legend players as their role model and try to adapt their style, also demanding the same kind of cleats worn by these players. Kids just go crazy for them.

Do not confuse soccer cleats for other sports cleats. Every sport has its own type of cleats which is specially made accordingly for the game. For basketball have cleats in front of them which are helpful in digging. In football they are present on the edge and bottom. They are different and heavy. Soccer cleats are lighter in weight compared to cleats of other sports. It comes in a low cut style only with its cushioning removable as well.

Cleats are detachable and can be attached again. The cleats at the bottom are made of different materials like metal tipped, rubber and plastic. For kids safety, it is better to provide them with rubber or plastic cleats. Metal-tipped cleats may weigh a little more and can be harmful if came in contact with other player’s skin. It can leave rashes or bruises to children’s delicate skin.

The material is also a matter of when comes to soccer cleats. Leather and synthetic materials could be a little heavy if you are looking for ultra lightweight shoes.

Do not go just on looks. If you find a cute looking pair of cleats then just don’t buy them on impulse. Ask your kid to try them on first, make sure it is comfortable and a good fit, then only gives buying it a thought. Do comparisons first if you find the same cleats with the same quality at less rate, then just don’t pay for the name of the brand.

SOCCER CLEATS – How To Choose Them

Soccer is a game played by thousands and loved by millions. Every soccer professional chooses their cleats according to their requirement and condition of the ground. If proper cleats are not worn by the player it may prove to be a big disadvantage on his side because cleats provide proper grip and adhesion towards the ground. Soccer cleats are chosen on the basis of various factors, some of them are as follows-

1. ACCORDING TO THE PLAYGROUND SURFACE- If the condition of a ground is rough and not too soft then the player should use firm ground cleats with 12 to 15 studs in other to maintain friction and allow flexibility. Studs come in different shapes like conical, blade-shaped, etc. But if the ground surface is wet and muddy, then the player should go for soft surface cleats, so that the stickiness of ground does not restrict friction and provides sufficient traction. However, in soft surface cleats, the number of studs is 6-7, structured ideally. And, for hard and rocky ground surface the cleats having flat studs are preferred as they provide maximum grip to maintain balance on the hard surface.

2. ACCORDING TO THE MATERIAL- Soccer cleats are made from various types of materials like from kangaroo leather, goat leather, synthetic material, mesh, etc. Each one has its own advantage and disadvantage. The cleats made from kangaroo leather are usually preferred as they provide great comfort to your feet and are quite durable. But they are very heavy and expensive so you can also opt for goat leather cleats as they are less expensive and provide the same comfort, but are as heavy as the former one. Cleats made from synthetic material is used widely because they are light weighing and cheap, but they are not suitable for all the weather and are not durable as kangaroo leather cleats. Many companies have started manufacturing artificial leather cleats having water resistant quality and durability.

3. ACCORDING TO THE COMFORT- Selecting right cleat could be a challenging task as the main priority is the comfort. Cleats should not be too small or too wide. They should fit properly and not hurt your toes resulting in blisters. Choose the cleats that can balance your back and forth movements. Your cleats must have a large strike zone so can easily kick the ball. The insoles in cleats should be soft and bouncy enough.

4. ACCORDING TO THE BUDGET- The price of cleats differs from company to the company offering different types of quality and material. The quality of cleats is classified as top-tier cleats, mid-tier cleats, and low-tier cleats. The professional soccer player chose top-tier cleats as they are manufactured to cater the demands of the player. They are very expensive and cost around 100$-500$ depending on the manufacturing company. The mid-tier cleats are in great demand as they are available at reasonable prices and are as durable as top-tier cleats. The low-tier cleats are for the beginner. They are cheap and of inferior quality.

Celebrities and Their Personalised Plates

People’s fascination with celebrity and celebrity culture continues to grow. Every week, our magazine shelves are filled with celebrity magazines such as People (US), Hello (Global), OK (UK) and VIP (Ireland). They are completely, back to back, stuffed full of gossip and news and all the latest fashion tips to model our favourite celebrity.

Many fans of celebrities want to know everything about their faves – from what they had for breakfast to what they wear to bed. And this celebrity obsession has spilled into personalised number plates.

Many celebrity fans or watchers want to know what car they drive and what their personalised plate is. If they know their plate, then the chances are they’ll get a glimpse of their idol or indeed get a chance to meet them.

Some personalised plates are well-known and have been in the public domain for a long time. The one that springs to mind immediately is Lord Alan Sugar. Since doing The Apprentice series on BBC, which began back in 2005, we have seen Lord Sugar’s car with the wonderful plate AMS 1. (Although he could move onto a new one with his elevation to Lord Sugar).

Other celebrities or well-known faces have chosen well in terms of their number plates. The magician Paul Daniels who dazzled the UK nation every week (practically) from 1979 to 1994 with ‘The Paul Daniels Magic Show’ has a plate that represents him perfectly. It is MAG 1C.

Similarly, Jimmy Tarbuck, the inimitable UK comic and quiz-master who has entertained the nation since first jumping on our screens in 1964 has a wonderful number plate – COM IC.

And it’s not just comedians or magicians who use plates that represent them. Sporting stars such as Amir Khan bought the ideal number plate – BOX IIG. This young boxer is certainly one to follow – after winning silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics at the tender age of 17.

Businesses regularly use plates to promote their business, product or services. TV’s Dragon Theo Paphitis of Dragon’s Den fame has a number plate which promotes his stationery business – RYM 4N for Ryman, the largest British stationery retailer.

While some celebrity cars and plates are well-known, others opt for privacy. The privacy of a personalised number plate allows them to drive a car with a plate that means something to them, rather than anyone else. Number plates that have a lower number of figures or digits or letters on a plate are always more expensive as there is a limited number of them. e.g., You can only have so many combinations of JH with a single digit, JH 1, JH 2, JH3, etc.

For example, VIP 1 which was used by Pope John Paul II during his tour of Ireland in 1979 was bought by Roman Abramovich for over £250,000.

Christiano Ronaldo bought CR7 which represented his number on the Man United shirt.

What has become apparent in the past several years is that it isn’t just real fans who are obsessed with meeting their fans. The rise of celebrity culture has seen a rise in the paparazzi. Unfortunately personalised plates often give away the identify of a celebrity and some are selling their cherished number plate.

And of course, celebrities change their hairstyles, their partners and their sponsors often so who knows – maybe they change their number plates often too.

The next time you see a car that you think has a celebrity personalised plate, think twice about approaching it. The owner might not be who you think it is.

Jayne Henry of Speedy Registrations Ltd – speedyreg.co.uk. Speedy Registrations have been supplying number plates to the public since 1984. Based in Northern Ireland we also specialise in private number plates. They aim to provide a choice of personalised number plates to meet all requirements; and pride ourselves in our highly competitive prices, matched equally by our professional customer care service. Every transfer is conducted in strict accordance with DVLA regulations covering number plates.

Facts About Soccer Cleats

When it comes to soccer the cleats play an important role for the players. The cleats are essential, but are ignored by many players. Having a perfect pair for the ground you play on can help you a lot and benefit you in numerous ways. There are certain circumstances in which using the wrong soccer cleats may prove dangerous. Selecting a pair which is comfortable to you is more important rather than buying the one your favorite player wears. There are various kinds of cleats that are available which are suitable for the right seasons and the right ground which you play on.

Rules

The soccer cleats were developed in the 19th century, which actually had studs on them. The first soccer cleats were worn by the king of England in the 16th century. The modern cleats have replaceable studs which makes them convenient to use. According to the rules that apply to the game internationally the players are not compelled to wear cleats. The players can choose to wear anything other than cleats on an artificial turf. The cleats are pretty important when they are to be worn on the grounds with natural grass.

Types

There are different types of cleats you need to know about when you are going to play on different ground conditions. The firm ground cleats (FG) are used on the grounds with dry and natural grass surfaces. As nowadays artificial turfs are used so the companies are producing the cleats which are artificial grass friendly. The soft ground cleats (SG) should be worn on the grounds where the studs penetrate the ground which will give you a good grip. The hard ground cleats (HG) are used on the hard surfaces. The AT- Turf shoes are the priority of the players playing on the artificial turf due to its conical studs. If you are playing soccer indoors then the IN-indoor cleats are perfect for you as they are hard as the rock.

Material

Players like to choose the materials of the cleats in which they are comfortable. The K-leather is a material which molds to the comfort of your foot and it is durable for a long time. The material of this type of leather is soft. There is an option for natural leather as well. The upper area of the cleats is made from leather or goat or calf skin. The synthetic leather cleats are widely in use nowadays with the improved quality of being waterproof. The mesh is used in the cleats which gives a lightweight body.

Categories

The cleats are provided with specific materials in the areas which are used to pass and control the ball are categorized as control cleats. The power cleats have some kind of technology in the zone, which is used to hit the ball. The speed is introduced to the cleat by keeping it lightweight. The heritage cleats contain materials which are used to keep them durable.

Feet of Wisdom

He is the most successful manager in English football’s history. He is the never exhausted ol’ machine gun that just never runs out of ammo. He is the phenomenon. He is the living and ‘kicking’ legend. He is Sir Alex Ferguson, probably the most prestigious and honored name in the managerial fraternity of football. A man who has made winning a routine habit just like his habit of chewing gums during match time, a daily obsession, or rather ritual.

One of the special and primary attributes of the legend’s coaching has been his ability to identify and nurture extraordinary talents of the sport and then carving stars of the game out of them and making them a force to reckon with. He has been doing it for Manchester United and, he has been doing it for ages. And a nice point to ponder upon is that, often these derby horses that come out of his stable turn the richest in their trade (ask Beckham or Ronaldo, or to some extent Rooney).

But, the tables have turned a little in the last year or so. Since the departure of CR7 to the cash-rich Real Madrid and thus becoming CR9, the Manchester United roster seemed to be lacking that zing thing or the usually ever-existent superstar who takes the standard of the team to a whole different ‘out-of-the-league’ pedestal. Sir Alex had faced a similar kind of dilemma when former England captain and world’s richest footballer, Posh’s Beckham decided to leave the club to become a Galactico in the land of Madrid in the year 2003. At that point of time, he found the perfect or even better solution in the form of young Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro for £12.24 million (which proved to be a minimal cost as compared to his later selling price; £80 million), who during his stint with the club reached unprecedented heights and went on to became one of the footballing greats of the club, his generation, and a heartthrob of many a woman. Now, Sire Alex again, faces the same problem of filling the void.

The 2009-2010 season proved to be the season of ‘void’ for the Red Devils as the trophy cabinet could feel the burden of emptiness striking its season desk harder and harder and so could the ManU bench which felt the pain of the lack of a superstar who could support and complement Rooney in his talismanic superman efforts to single-handedly salvage some pride for the club which, by the end of the season, could not land either of the English Premier League or the UEFA Champions League, which is a poor performance considering the club’s rich history in these competitions. But when in charge of things is the legend called Sir Alex Ferguson, you just can’t help but stop being cynical of proceedings.

It’s time for the new season, new expectations and inevitably, new signings to liven things up, necessarily. This was the time for him to spend the funds accumulated by selling off the world’s richest player (a move that made him richer, in terms of the moolah). It was time Sir Alex proved it yet again to the world that he still has it in himself to nurture a footballing genius out of a sensational talent. The results of his efforts shall be evaluated only after the end of the season but speculations and front page headlines have taken form at the very imminent start.

With Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen, both not living up to the expectations and the millions spent on them, Sir Alex had to find answers and quickly, with time fast running out. Berbatov’s performance in his couple of seasons with United has been lackluster to be defined precisely. And Michael Owen has been closer to the first aid box rather than the goal post in his stint with United so far, surely kept the physios busy.

The potential answer now stands with 3 goals in as many appearances for England’s and the entire world’s arguably biggest club. Popularly known as ‘Chicharito’, he is Javier Hernandez, a man who is being already touted as the next big thing, as the new wonder kid on the block. Standing not so tall at 5ft 9inches, Hernandez has blistering pace and great control on and off the ball. A healthy statistic on his ability to burst lungs is that he was the fastest player in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, reaching a top speed of 32.5 km/h (now that is some pace). And to add to all this is his ‘quick-as-a-flash’ ability to find the back of the net, is what the ManU manager will take as a bonus.

Everyone will remember his two goals in this year’s World Cup; the first against France by springing the offside trap, latching onto a beautiful through pass from Rafael Marquez, sidestepping Hugo Lloris and then a cool side footer into the net. The second one, a straight down the middle scorcher against the Argentinians, leaving Andujar with an open mouth. Already being predicted as the best buy of the summer, only time shall say Hernandez will live up to the hype and pre-performance praise showered upon him or not.

The difference in situations with Javier Hernandez and his present mentor is that time is a relatively closer friend of the former, and quite an enemy of the latter.

The new season has just kicked off, speculations are still ripe, the noose of questions will only tighten as the league table starts shaping up, and it’s all about who can still breathe, and not choke. Can he do it one more time or probably for the last time? Will Old Trafford again submerge itself in the glorious red? Only time shall say.

SOCCER CLEATS – How To Choose Them

Soccer is a game played by thousands and loved by millions. Every soccer professional chooses their cleats according to their requirement and condition of the ground. If proper cleats are not worn by the player it may prove to be a big disadvantage on his side because cleats provide proper grip and adhesion towards the ground. Soccer cleats are chosen on the basis of various factors, some of them are as follows-

1. ACCORDING TO THE PLAYGROUND SURFACE- If the condition of a ground is rough and not too soft then the player should use firm ground cleats with 12 to 15 studs in other to maintain friction and allow flexibility. Studs come in different shapes like conical, blade-shaped, etc. But if the ground surface is wet and muddy, then the player should go for soft surface cleats, so that the stickiness of ground does not restrict friction and provides sufficient traction. However, in soft surface cleats, the number of studs is 6-7, structured ideally. And, for hard and rocky ground surface the cleats having flat studs are preferred as they provide maximum grip to maintain balance on the hard surface.

2. ACCORDING TO THE MATERIAL- Soccer cleats are made from various types of materials like from kangaroo leather, goat leather, synthetic material, mesh, etc. Each one has its own advantage and disadvantage. The cleats made from kangaroo leather are usually preferred as they provide great comfort to your feet and are quite durable. But they are very heavy and expensive so you can also opt for goat leather cleats as they are less expensive and provide the same comfort, but are as heavy as the former one. Cleats made from synthetic material is used widely because they are light weighing and cheap, but they are not suitable for all the weather and are not durable as kangaroo leather cleats. Many companies have started manufacturing artificial leather cleats having water resistant quality and durability.

3. ACCORDING TO THE COMFORT- Selecting right cleat could be a challenging task as the main priority is the comfort. Cleats should not be too small or too wide. They should fit properly and not hurt your toes resulting in blisters. Choose the cleats that can balance your back and forth movements. Your cleats must have a large strike zone so can easily kick the ball. The insoles in cleats should be soft and bouncy enough.

4. ACCORDING TO THE BUDGET- The price of cleats differs from company to the company offering different types of quality and material. The quality of cleats is classified as top-tier cleats, mid-tier cleats, and low-tier cleats. The professional soccer player chose top-tier cleats as they are manufactured to cater the demands of the player. They are very expensive and cost around 100$-500$ depending on the manufacturing company. The mid-tier cleats are in great demand as they are available at reasonable prices and are as durable as top-tier cleats. The low-tier cleats are for the beginner. They are cheap and of inferior quality.

Barcelona and Real Madrid Set For 14-15 Season

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the most exciting teams in the world. The best players on the planet ply their trade in the Spanish Premiera Division and in mainly these two powerhouses.

Last year, Atletico Madrid got the better of both Barca and Real in the La Liga. Although they couldn’t snap up victory in the Champions League final against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, yet all over they had a great season.

The ten-time European champions, Real, have yet another target this season and it is to win the Champions League again. No club side has ever won back-to-back Champions League trophies. To compete for all the major trophies, the Spanish giants have added a few marquee signings. Toni Kroos is one of those and he has justified his value to be called-up by one of the most successful clubs in the world. Kroos was phenomenal for the German champions, Bayern Munich, and was among the best players in Brazil, 2014 World Cup, which his national side eventually won.

Real not only, grabbed the World Cup winner, but they also convinced the best player of the tournament to sign with them. James Rodriguez was the star in Brazil and he lead his team quite far in the tournament. His tally of 6 goals helped him win the Golden Boot. It will be quite interesting to see how he would do at the Santiago Bernabeu under Ancelotti, who describes James as the player who would be Real’s future. On the other hand, the outgoing players are Nuri Sahin and Morata.

It is quite possible that Real win more silverware than previous season as the Galacticos look more powerful than ever.

Barcelona too, haven’t done bad in this summer transfer window. The Catalonian giants seized the opportunity to sign probably the best striker in the world right now. Luis Suarez is a flawed genius and he definitely attracts controversy. He would be out till October 25th and might feature in the first El Clasico of this season. In addition to the ex-Liverpool man, Barca have brought in Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo, Ivan Rakitic and Jeremy Mathieu. Alexis Sanchez and Bojan Krkic are the players who were not needed by the new manager at Camp Nou.

Barcelona appeared pale last season and they would look to get back their domination in world football. Leo Messi would again be key for the Blaugrana and would be assisted by Suarez, Neymar and Iniesta. We can’t predict which team would do better than the other because of the sheer quality in both the sides.

The Cristiano Ronaldo’s Debate

Jorge Mendes, the agent of Cristiano Ronaldo and Deco, has announced his presence in Switzerland to attend the match between Portugal and Turkey on Saturday. His arrival has triggered the rumors about the progress of Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Deco of FC Barcelona. Mendes, as is customary in it, does not say ‘anything’ in this regard.

The truth is that the situation of Cristiano Ronaldo is becoming a problem for almost all parties involved. Jorge Mendes would like an agreement reached that will see Ronaldo continue play at Old Trafford for one or two more years. He believe it is too early to make the jump to a team so open to he media such as Real Madrid or, falling gian such as Barça. The problem is that the player does not want to play with Manchester United, mainly because their football does not satify his needs. Cristiano is obsessed with achieving the Ball d’or, and most especially the Fifa World Player of year. Cristiano Ronaldo is convinced that if had been action for Madrid or Barcelona would already have achieved these precious titles.

In addition, the Portuguese star does not support the English climate, the city of Manchester and the stance it has taken in recent months. He also claims that ‘Man United’ has not fulfilled any of the promises of an improved monetary value promised him some time ago.

Felipao Scolari has forbidden him to consult the Internet or read newspapers to avoid shocks. Knowing that Manchester United has been threatening him with relegation to the reserves rather than selling him.

But there is no doubting the fact that the British press seems to have hated the player all of sudden. Some of the papers even go as far as calling his fiancee, The Striking Nereida Majorcan. The average English press are showing no mercy with the girl and Cristiano is seriously angry about it.

For example the treatment received after the penalty miss at the Camp Nou or his game in the finals in Moscow, where he scored his team’s goal, but then fail an important penalty in the final round of penalties. Where before they were all praises, now comes the odd attack. That’s another reason, many believe Cristiano wants to leave the UK and coming to Spain.

But the problem is Jorge Mendes convinced that his ward is ready to leave Old trafford for the noisy Madrid but those who are very close to Cristiano insist that the player is ready to Leave Manchester United.

Primordial Stars Haunt A Bright And Ancient Galaxy

The birth of the primeval first generation of fiery stars is cloaked in alluring mystery–their attributes remain undetermined. The oldest stars are believed to have ignited as early as 100 million years after the Big Bang birth of our Universe about 13.8 billion years ago, casting their lovely, brilliant, raging fires into the swath of incredible, featureless darkness that was our primordial Universe before the stars were born. For decades, astronomers have theorized about the existence of this first ancient generation of stars–known as Population III stars–that emerged from the pristine material formed in the Big Bang. In June 2015, astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO’s) Very Large Telescope (VLT), announced that they may have solved this mystery when they discovered what is by far the most brilliant galaxy yet seen in the ancient Universe, finding strong evidence that some members of the mysterious and elusive first generation of stars may be haunting it. These sparkling, brilliant, fiery ancient stars–purely hypothetical objects–may have at last been found hiding in that distant galaxy, which is three times brighter than the brightest distant galaxy known up to now.

Population III stars were the creators of the very first batch of heavy elements in the Cosmos. After the Big Bang, the Universe knew only hydrogen, helium, and trace quantities of lithium–all of the atomic elements heavier than helium, which are termed metals by astronomers, were cooked up in the searing hot, nuclear-fusing cores of the stars, their stellar furnaces progressively fusing lighter atomic elements into heavier ones. Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant atomic element in the Universe, and helium is the second-lightest. The existence of these heavy metals, cooked up in the hot hearts of ancient stars, were necessary to give birth to the kind of stars that we see today, the planets that circle them, and life as we know it. The oxygen we breathe, the carbon that is the basis for life on Earth, the dirt beneath our feet, the iron in our blood, all exist because ancient stars were there to create them within their secretive, seething, roiling hot hearts.

Astronomers have long hypothesized the existence of Population III stars, born from the very light primeval material of the Big Bang. Because all metals were created in the nuclear-fusing cores of stars, this means that the first stars must have formed out of the only atomic elements that existed before the stars were there–hydrogen, helium, and a pinch of lithium.

It is commonly thought that these Population III stars would have been behemoths–several hundred or even a thousand times more massive than our own fiery Sun. The first stars were likely searing-hot, and short-lived–blasting themselves to shreds in the rage of supernovae after only about two million years of nuclear-fusing stellar existence. However, until now, the hunt for direct, physical proof of the existence of these ancient, enormous stars, has been inconclusive.

Population III stars were unlike the stars we know, love, and wish upon today. Pristine hydrogen and helium are believed to have somehow pulled themselves together to create increasingly tighter and tighter knots. The first stars did not form in the same way, or from the same elements, as stars do now. Population III stars were likely dazzling, monster-size giants. Our Sun is a glittering, glaring member of the youngest generation of stars, and is designated a Population I star. In between the first and most recent generations of stars is the stellar “sandwich generation”, appropriately dubbed Population II stars.

An Ancient Stellar Story

Back in the 1940s, the German astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960), who did his work in the United States from 1931 until 1959, divided the stars observed in galaxies into two populations (I and II). Even though a more sophisticated method of classifying stellar populations has since been devised, astronomers have continued to classify stars as Populations I, II, and III. More refined modern methods, however, classify them according to whether they are found in the galactic thin disk, thick disk, halo or bulge. However, astronomers still continue to broadly define stellar populations as either Population I (metal-rich) or Population II (metal-poor). However, even the most metal poor Population II stars show metallicities (Z/H) considerably greater than that of the relic gas left over from the Big Bang.

It was for this reason that astronomers proposed the existence of a third class of star: Population III. Because Population III stars are composed entirely of pristine primordial gas, the gas from which Population III stars were born had not been incorporated into–and then ejected from–earlier generations of stars. The earliest generation of stars were formed out of the pure, unpolluted material left over from the very beginning of the Universe, and were also the very first generation of stars to be born within a galactic host. These Population III stars are thought to have manufactured the metals observed in Population II stars and start the gradual increase in metallicity across subsequent stellar generations.

The metallicity of a star provides a valuable tool for astronomers to use because its determination can reveal a star’s true age. When the Universe was born, its “ordinary” atomic matter was almost entirely hydrogen–along with lesser amounts of helium, and only trace quantities of lithium and beryllium–and no heavier atomic elements at all (Big Bang nucleosynthesis). Therefore, older generations of stars (Populations II and III) show lower metallicities than younger stars (Population I), like our Sun, that show the highest metal content. The three populations of stars were named in this backward way because they were classified in the order that they were first discovered, which is the reverse of the order in which they were born. Therefore, Population III stars were depleted of heavy metals.

Even though older stars carry fewer heavy metals than younger stars, the fact that Population II stars contain at least some small quantity of metals is a mystery. The currently most popular explanation for this puzzle is that Population III stars must have existed–even though not one Population III star has ever been seen. In order for the ancient Population II stars to carry a small amount of metals, their metals must have been formed in the nuclear-fusing, hot hearts of an earlier generation of stars. Population II stars are the oldest stars to be directly observed by astronomers.

A number of explanations have been suggested to explain why no Population III stars have ever been observed. One explanation states that the majority of Population III stars would have used up their necessary supply of fuel long ago and would now be observed only as stellar corpses-white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes.Therefore, the original composition of the oldest generation of stars is almost impossible to determine. However, this explanation alone cannot account for the absence of Population III stars because those with the lightest masses should still be around–although they would be difficult to detect because of their very low luminosities.

A second explanation put forth is that stars accrete gas from interstellar space as they travel through it, and this may contaminate the outer layers of the otherwise pristine Population III stars. This would cause Population III stars to masquerade as metal-poor Population II stars.

Another explanation is that the metals forged in the fiery cores of Population III have been dredged up to the surface by convection. Such “self-contaminated” Population III stars would also most likely be misclassfied as metal-poor Population II stars.

The currently most popular explanation for the lack of observed Population III stars is that they were all extremely massive, with almost unimaginable masses ranging from 60 to 300 times that of our Sun. This would mean that no low mass Population III stars were born. Indeed, many theoretical models indicate that primordial Population III stars carried considerably greater masses than the stars observed in the Universe today. If this is the case, then all Population III stars would have used up their necessary supply of nuclear fuel very long ago and would now be present only as relics like black holes.

The problem is that Population III stars are currently entirely hypothetical objects. Despite a dedicated hunt for them by astronomers, these most ancient of stars have never been observed directly.

Primordial Stars Haunt A Bright And Ancient Galaxy!

A team of astronomers led by Dr. David Sobral of the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences, the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon in Portugal, and Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, has now used ESO’s VLT to look very far back in time to that remote, dark, and mysterious era known as reionization. Peering back into the ancient Universe, to a “mere” 800 million years after its Big Bang beginning, the astronomers believe that they have spotted signs of the elusive Population III stars. Rather than conducting a narrow and deep observation of a small portion of the sky, they broadened their scope to produce the widest survey of extremely distant, ancient galaxies ever attempted.

Their careful and exhaustive study was made using the VLT, along with the aid of the W.M. Keck Observatory and the Subaru Telescope, as well as the NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The team discovered, and confirmed, a significant number of extremely remote and very bright young galaxies inhabiting the early Universe. One of these galaxies, named CR7 was an exceptionally rare object, by far the most brilliant galaxy ever seen at this ancient stage of our Universe’s history. With the discovery of CR7 and other bright galaxies, the study was already highly productive, but additional study provided even more exciting news.

The X-shooter and SINFONI instruments on the VLT spotted strong ionized helium emission from CR7 but–surprisingly–no indication of heavy metals in an especially brilliant pocket within that very distant galaxy. This meant that the team had spotted strong evidence for clusters of the elusive first generation of stars that had ionized gas within the galaxy in the very early Universe.

“The discovery challenged our expectations from the start, as we didn’t expect to find such a bright galaxy. Then, by unveiling the nature of CR7 piece by piece, we understood that not only had we found by far the most luminous distant galaxy, but also started to realize that it had every single characteristic expected of Population III stars. Those stars were the ones that formed the first heavy atoms that ultimately allowed us to be here. It doesn’t really get more exciting than this,” Dr. Sobel explained in a June 17, 2015 ESO Press Release.

Both bluer and somewhat redder stellar clusters were observed within the CR7 galaxy, suggesting that the birth of Population III stars had occurred in waves–as predicted by some theories. Therefore, the team has directly observed the final wave of Population III stars. This means that such stars should be easier to spot than previously believed because they dwell among later generations of stars in brighter galaxies–and not exclusively within the smallest, faintest, and earliest galaxies, which are so dim that their observation presents quite a challenge.

The second author of the new study, Dr. Jorryt Matthee, told the press on June 17, 2015 that, “I have always wondered where we come from. Even as a child I wanted to know where the elements came from: the calcium in my bones, the carbon in my muscles, the iron in my blood. I found out that these were first formed at the very beginning of the Universe, by the first generation of stars. With this discovery, remarkably, we are starting to actually see such objects for the first time.”

Judith E. Braffman-Miller is a writer and astronomer whose articles have been published since 1981 in various newspapers, magazines, and journals. Although she has written on a variety of topics, she particularly loves writing about astronomy because it gives her the opportunity to communicate to others the many wonders of her field. Her first book, “Wisps, Ashes, and Smoke,” will be published soon.