Strange star system may hold first evidence of an ultra-rare 'dark matter star'

According to recent findings, the first instance of a "boson star" comprised of dark matter may be orbited by a sun-like star in a faraway star system.

For a very long time, astronomers believed that a strange star system discovered by the Gaia spacecraft of the European Space Agency was just a star orbiting a black hole. Two astronomers are now contesting that assertion, saying that the data points to something far stranger—possibly a previously unknown class of star formed of dark matter. Their study was released on April 18 on the preprint service arXiv, but it has not yet undergone peer review.

A star that resembles the sun plus, well, something else make up the system itself. The star has nearly the same chemical richness as our star and weighs 0.93 solar masses less than the sun. Its enigmatic partner is around 11 solar masses heavier and substantially more gigantic. The objects complete one circle of each other every 188 days at a distance of 1.4 astronomical units, or roughly the distance at which Mars orbits the sun.

What may be that shadowy companion? There is a chance that it is a black hole. Even though that would perfectly match the orbital measurements, there are problems with that theory. A sun-like star would need to grow beside one of those monstrous stars in order for this condition to occur since black holes are created when extremely large stars die. That scenario demands a remarkable level of fine-tuning to create the match and retain these particles in orbit around one other for millions of years, while it is not completely impossible.

So maybe that mysterious orbital partner is something far more unusual, as the authors of a recent study suggest. They speculate that it may be a collection of dark matter particles.

The bulk of the mass in every galaxy is made up of dark matter, an unseen kind of substance. Our knowledge of its identification is currently insufficient. Although most theoretical models assume that dark matter is evenly dispersed throughout each galaxy, certain theories enable it to cluster together.

According to one of these hypotheses, dark matter is a brand-new kind of boson. The particles known as bosons are those that carry the natural forces; a photon is an example of a boson that carries the electromagnetic force. The Standard Model of particle physics only has a small number of bosons, but in theory, the cosmos may have many more varieties.

Although these bosons wouldn't have any forces, the cosmos would nonetheless be saturated with them. Most significantly, they would be able to group together into huge clumps. These aggregates may range in size from being considerably smaller to becoming the size of whole star systems. Boson stars are a novel moniker for hypothetical objects that might be as tiny as stars and represent the tiniest known groupings of bosonic dark matter.

Boson stars would not be seen at all. Dark matter cannot interact with other particles or light, hence the only way to identify it is via its gravitational effect on its surroundings, much to how an ordinary star would circle a boson star.

The scientists noted that a straightforward boson dark matter model could generate enough boson stars to explain this finding in the Gaia data and that substituting a boson star for a putative black hole may account for all of the observational data.

Although it is improbable that this is a boson star, the scientists nonetheless recommended more observations. Most significantly, this special system provides us with a unique chance to investigate the behavior of strong gravity and test the viability of Einstein's general relativity theory. Second, this system is ideal for experimentation if the object is a boson star. We may experiment with our models of boson stars to determine how well they can account for the system's orbital dynamics and then utilize that knowledge to get a look into the deep recesses of the cosmos.