The wild theory suggests that dark matter could make stars immortal

Stars very close to the center of our galaxy could be fueled by dark matter forever, according to a team of astronomers who recently studied distant sources of light.

The cluster of stars, known as S-group stars, is just three light-years from the center of the Milky Way (for reference, we’re about 26,000 light-years from the center of our galaxy, which hosts a supermassive black hole at its core. her). The stars are surprisingly young for their galactic neighborhood, yet they do not look like stars that simply migrated to this part of the Milky Way after forming elsewhere. The region also contains some surprisingly massive stars and fewer old stars than expected.

As reported by, the research team hypothesizes that these strange stars may accumulate dark matter, which they then use as fuel to continue burning. Since the models estimate that there is a lot of dark matter near the galactic core, the stars are “forever young,” lead study author Isabelle John, an astrophysicist at the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, told In fact, stars have a long, long way to go before they start running out of fuel. The team letter is currently waiting on the arXiv preprint server, which means it has not yet gone through the peer review process.

Dark matter appears to make up 27% of the universe, but has so far eluded direct detection. In other words, astronomers cannot see it in any light band using existing instruments. Instead, dark matter is seen through its effects on objects that ARE visible, from distant stars to large clusters of them. Although dark matter is invisible to us, its gravitational effects are visible. The jury is out on whether there is one culprit for dark matter—a theoretical particle like action, for example—or whether there are so many unknowns that we’ve given the umbrella term dark matter.

The newly introduced paper is not the first to explore how dark matter can interact with stars. Just earlier this year, a different team of researchers proposed that neutron stars—extremely dense stellar remnants—it may actually be a source of dark matter. Last July, another team suggested that the Webb telescope had made the discovery stars that were powered by dark matter.

“Models of star formation suggest that stars cannot form internally [0.326 light-years] of the central black hole, where the stars of the S group are found,” the researchers wrote. “Rather, the stars must have formed elsewhere and migrated towards the Galactic Center. Conversely, observations suggest that the stars in this region are young [less than or approximately equal to 15 million years old]indicating that stars may have formed more locally.”

In their paper, the team also introduced a stellar version of dark matter Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, a table that maps star brightness and effective temperatures. The stars in the dark version of the diagram have lower temperatures than the stars in the set diagram, but still have similar luminosities. “The dark matter density in these stars is constantly replenished, giving these stars immortality and resolving many stellar anomalies,” the team wrote.

By determining the ways in which these potentially dark matter-fueled stars evolve and age, the team can better characterize how dark matter manifests itself in the universe and interacts with ordinary matter. The team also noted this thirty meter class telescopes will be able to better measure stars near the Galactic Center, clarifying whether dark matter has any influence on stars in that region.

More: These violent collisions can produce dark matter

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