Astronomers discovered something strange and never seen in space
Astronomers have discovered a special stellar system that could potentially provide the first-ever evidence for the existence of an elusive dark matter star.
The discovery, which could fundamentally change humanity's view of the cosmos, according to a study published in the scientific journal arXiv. Article researchers are awaiting review by the scientific community, so the findings may be revised.
The European Space Agency's Gaia satellite has helped researchers discover a mysterious star system deep in space. They believe this system may conceal a surprising celestial object known as a dark matter star, a theoretical formation formed primarily from the mysterious matter that makes up most of the mass of the universe.
Dark matter, elusive and unable to interact with ordinary matter, has been a mystery that has puzzled scientists for decades. Identifying a star from dark matter would provide the key to understanding this enigmatic cosmic substance and its potential role in the formation and evolution of galaxies.
Most theoretical models assume that dark matter is evenly distributed in every galaxy, but there are models that allow it to accumulate in one place.
Although indirect evidence for the existence of dark matter has been gathered through astrophysical observations, the discovery of a dark matter star was an unprecedented milestone. Such a discovery could provide valuable clues about the nature of dark matter particles and help refine existing theoretical models.
The discovered stellar system consists of a sun-shaped star and something else very massive. The star, according to the study, is similar to our Sun and only slightly smaller than our luminary, and its chemical composition is identical.
However, scientists are really interested in the mysterious object located nearby. It is much larger than the star - its mass reaches about 11 solar masses, and it is located at a distance of 1.4 astronomical units and makes a complete revolution in 188 days. This is about the same distance as Mars is relative to the Sun.
There is a variant that the mysterious object is a black hole. But, this hypothesis has some problems. Black holes are formed by the death of very massive stars, and for such a situation to occur, a star like the Sun would have to have formed in company with one such monster. While such a scenario is not absolutely impossible, it requires too many conditions for these objects to be in orbit around each other for millions of years.
That's why astronomers are inclined to believe that this dark object is something much more exotic than a black hole. Namely, a star made of dark matter.
According to one theory, dark matter is a new kind of boson, a particle that carries the forces of nature; for example, a photon is a boson that carries the electromagnetic force.
It has been suggested that such bosons can form clumps of dark matter-sometimes the size of an entire star system, and sometimes the size of a star. It is such "small" objects that would be called bosonic stars. As LiveScience notes, since dark matter does not interact with other particles or light, boson stars would be completely invisible. And it would only be possible to detect them because of gravitational effects on their surroundings. For example, as in the case of the observed system, if an ordinary star rotates near a boson star
The researchers noted that a simple model of bosonic dark matter could create enough bosonic stars to make the Gaia data result plausible, and that replacing a putative black hole with a bosonic star could explain all the observed data.
As a result of the study, scientists were intrigued by the properties of the star system, including its gravitational behavior and spectral emission. By carefully analyzing the data, scientists hope to uncover evidence that confirms the presence of a dark matter star.
If this surprising finding is confirmed, it will not only prove the existence of dark-matter stars, but also shed light on the complex interaction between dark matter and the visible universe.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL also reported that astronomers first managed to see how one of the largest black holes J2157 rips into pieces the neighboring star, turning it into space "spaghetti". They called the phenomenon they saw Scary Barbie, noting that it was one of the longest, brightest and most energetic cosmic objects ever observed.
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