NASA’s powerful new eye on the universe may have caught sight of dark matter.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has discovered three candidate „dark stars” that may be powered by particles that destroy dark matter, according to new peer-reviewed research.
„Finding a new type of star is very interesting, but the darkest thing about finding it — it’s going to be massive,” said study co-author Katherine Freese, director of the Weinberg Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Texas at Austin. said in a statement.
The subject matter is believed to cover much of the universe, but cannot be seen with conventional telescopes. We can trace its presence through gravitational effects, such as when a massive galaxy passes in front of a distant star and magnifies its light. Just as „normal” stars like our Sun are powered by „normal” matter, dark stars may be fueled by dark matter particles.
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Dark stars, if they exist, could help us understand how the universe got its light in the first place. For about 15 years, scientists have speculated that „dark stars” were first produced when our universe was 700 million years old.
Their interesting name comes from the song „Dark Star,” from The Grateful Dead in 1967, the research team that first predicted dark stars told Space.com in 2009. (Another inspiration was Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 1977 song, also called „Dark Star”.)
JWST’s observations show that three distant objects, all from early in the universe’s history, meet the main characteristics of dark stars: they are luminous, but too cool to fuse. July 11 paper As stated in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
„There are undetermined parameters that control the formation and evolution of a dark star and, ultimately, its observable properties,” the authors cautioned in the study. But they insisted that they used „plausible values” for the energy of dark matter particles in developing models for these theoretical objects.
Three candidate dark stars (called JADES-GS-z13-0, JADES-GS-z12-0, and JADES-GS-z11-0) may be the target of future JWST observations to „light intensities in certain frequency bands” that may match other predictions for the energy of dark stars. .
JWST has already thrown researchers other strange puzzles, such as proving the number of galaxies formed in the early history of the universe.
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