A trio of astrophysicists, two from Colgate University and the third from the University of Texas, have found possible evidence for dark stars, courtesy of data from the James Webb Space Telescope. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cosmin Ilie, Jillian Pauline and Katherine Freese describe their study of the data surrounding three galaxies detected by the JWST and how they might be related to dark stars.
In 2007, the same trio of researchers proposed the idea of a dark star, a star that, unlike all those observed to date that are powered by nuclear fusion, would be powered by dark matter. the idea of such a star and have been building models to show what it might look like. In doing so, they derived a list of characteristics such a star might have. And now they have found three candidates who meet the requirements.
Dark stars, the team suggests, could probably have been born during the early days of the universe, like other stars, they would have been composed mostly of helium and hydrogen, but they would also have some dark matter in them, enough to provide a source of energy. heat. Those stars would not be ignited by nuclear fusion. If such stars existed, the team continues, they would be much larger than the other types of stars that have been observed, so large that they could appear to be galaxies to Earth-based telescopes.
In this new effort, the trio of researchers analyzed JWST data describing three galaxies, JADES-GS-z11, z12, and z13-0, and in doing so found that they closely matched the characteristics they had described for dark stars, adding one Also helping to bolster his theory is the fact that the three galaxies do not fit with the theory surrounding traditional galaxies.
Another part of the theory the team developed suggested that as dark stars age, they would eventually collapse into supermassive black holes, a theory that helps explain why there are so many black holes in the universe that have not been seen before. , space scientists have lacked the necessary tools to see far enough back in time to the deployment of the JWST.
More information: Cosmin Ilie et al, Supermassive Dark Star candidates seen by JWST, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2023). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2305762120