April 27, 2021

Meanwhile: In Space

Something is eating and/or yeeting nearby stars

According to a new analysis of Gaia satellite data, the closest star cluster to our Solar System is currently being torn apart - disrupted not just by normal processes, but also by the gravitational pull of something massive we can't see.

The Hayades Star cluster
consists of a roughly spherical group of hundreds of stars sharing the same age, place of origin, chemical characteristics, and motion through space
This young stellar nursery is the closest star cluster to Earth, being only 47 parsecs (153 LY) away. For our purposes that's ridiculously, arbitrarily far, but on the galactic scale we're practically touching. 

Anyway, data from ESA's Gaia satellite indicates that stars in the cluster are vanishing and or being thrown out of the formation.  The paper is here, and more layman friendly articles on the subject can be found here, here, here and here

The current theory as reported, is that a huge mass of dark matter, (which is invisible to telescopes) is passing through the cluster and disrupting it. As a few of the articles suggest, finding Dark Matter, would indeed be strong evidence for Dark Matter, though, like all other evidence for the stuff this is indirect evidence (as Dark Matter's supposed properties would dictate).

Allow those of us at Brickmuppet Blog to offer an alternative possible explanation, but not necessarily the only one, for the phenomena being examined. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:49 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 I like intergalactic warfare. Or at least, I like winning at it. I'm inclined to tentatively assume measurement error. I can't think of any particular reason for me to be skeptical here. I've been wrong many times going with pessimism.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Tue Apr 27 21:52:46 2021 (6y7dz)

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