Stars have long attracted humans, radiating brilliance from the great expanse of space via the process of fusion, in which atoms combine and produce energy. “Dark stars” transform this imaging and may be the long-sought source of dark matter.

A remarkable discovery made by a team of three astrophysicists implies the existence of a different source of stellar power behind these dark stars.

Using photos collected by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the researchers discovered three unusually brilliant objects that they believe are “dark stars.”

Dark matter particle annihilation could theoretically fuel these hypothetical celestial entities. It would make them considerably bigger and brighter than our sun.

Confirming the existence of dark stars would not only revolutionise our knowledge of stellar evolution, but would also shed light on the enigmatic nature of dark matter. This is one of the most significant unsolved puzzles in physics.

Katherine Freese of The University of Texas at Austin is at the helm of this fascinating research project. She collaborated with Colgate University’s Cosmin Ilie and Jillian Paulin ’23.

To confirm the dark star hypothesis, the team plans to conduct follow-up observations using the JWST, primarily focusing on the spectroscopic properties of the candidate objects. By examining variations in light intensity at specific frequencies, such as dips or excesses, these investigations can provide crucial evidence to validate the existence of dark stars.

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