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HomeNewsThe Hubble Space Telescope has detected ghostly light from ancient wandering stars

The Hubble Space Telescope has detected ghostly light from ancient wandering stars

Stars are usually very “sociable”. Thanks to gravity, they are often seen joined together in mature galaxies such as our Milky Way galaxy and much smaller star clusters.

Scattered throughout the universe, however, are rogue stars that are not bound by gravity to other stars and are endlessly wandering the vastness of space. The light from these stars, known as intracluster light, was first discovered by Fritz Zwicky in 1951, but a new infrared survey from the Hubble Space Telescope has shed light on this faint glow. Can scientists help unravel the mystery of the origin of these capricious stars?

The study examined 10 galaxy clusters, or gravitationally bound galaxy groups, at distances of up to 10 billion light years. What the researchers discovered from the data was that the ratio of intra-cluster light to total cluster light was constant. This is likely because the wandering stars are billions of years old and not recently detached from established galaxy clusters (when massive gravitational currents pulled material out of the galaxy). suggests. If stripping is the main reason for capricious stars, scientists would expect the proportion of light within the cluster to increase over time compared to the light from the cluster.

“We don’t know exactly what made her homeless. Current theories can’t explain our findings, but somehow they were massively generated in the early universe,” James Gee, an astronomer at Yonsei University in South Korea and co-author of the new study, said in a statement. “During its early formation, galaxies may have been very small, and their weak gravity made them bleed the stars fairly easily.”

These strange stars may give scientists a glimpse into dark matter, so perhaps there’s a bigger mystery as well.

Just as Hubble continues to search the universe for light within clusters of galaxies, so does James’ Webb Space Telescope. We hope that powerful observatories will work together to help scientists unravel the mystery of how wandering stars are born.

“Finding the origin of windows within galaxy clusters can help us understand the formation history of entire clusters and can serve as a visible imprint of the dark matter surrounding the clusters,” the statement said.

News Summary:

  • The Hubble Space Telescope has detected ghostly light from ancient wandering stars
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