London: Several tiny stars in globular clusters could account for mysterious dark matter, which is believed to constitute over 80 per cent of the universe’s matter, a new study has revealed.
Pawel Pietrukowicz of Warsaw University in Poland and colleagues speckled a tiny star in the globular cluster M22, which posed as a lens for a background star.
At just 0.18 times the sun’s mass, it is the smallest star ever seen in a globular cluster. Because its effects on the larger star were seen after just 10 weeks of observations, the team asserted that there are perhaps many more like it in the cluster, which may even be enough to account for all the dark matter needed to hold the cluster together, the New Scientist reported.
The study will be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
First Published: Monday, January 09, 2012, 20:48