The James Webb Space Telescope may have discovered a theoretical ‘dark star’ shining in the distant past, according to new research.
astrophysicist behind the study Dark stars would be fueled by collisions of dark matter, a mysterious hypothetical form of matter thought to make up about 25 percent of the universe, they say.
“Discovering a new type of star is very interesting in and of itself, but if we can discover that it’s dark matter that drives it, that’s a big deal,” said study co-author Catherine Freeze, professor of physics at the University of Texas. It’s going to be very big,” he said. news release. “And believe it or not, one dim star has enough light to rival the entire galaxy.”
Dark stars can also be considerably larger than stars like our Sun, which are powered when atoms fuse together in a process known as nuclear fusion. Dark matter and dark stars are still hypotheses, but Freese says their existence could help resolve discrepancies between galaxy formation and modern theories. Observation by the James Webb Telescope.
“Looking at James Webb’s data, there are two competing possibilities for these objects,” Freese said. “One is that they are galaxies containing millions of ordinary stars of Population III. The other is that they are dark stars.”
The three proposed dark stars are named JADES-GS-z13-0, JADES-GS-z12-0, and JADES-GS-z11-0. These were first discovered in December 2022 and were observed sometime between 320 and 400 million years after the Big Bang, making them some of the earliest objects ever observed.
The research team hopes to continue studying the three bodies using the James Webb Telescope. Released in 2021, space telescope has provided an unparalleled glimpse of planets, stars, galaxies and other celestial phenomena.
Freese and his colleagues first suggested that Presence of a dark star in 2008. Their latest research was published last week in a peer-reviewed journal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“We predicted in 2012 that[the James Webb Space Telescope]would be able to see supermassive dark stars,” said co-author Cosmin Illy of Colgate University in New York. “We are confident that we will be able to identify more individuals soon.”