Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Could This Be Where Some of the Universe's Missing Mass is?

Oh and the first person that calls the show Saturday and says...what? You reach into your back pocket?!" gets hung up on! lol Ok, here is what I am basing this question on. Astronomers used to think that elliptical galaxies contained around a trillion stars each. But looking at new data, they believe that these types of galaxies actually contain five trillion to ten trillion stars, and that by itself means the universe would have three times as many stars as we'd previously believed.

The new data come from technological advancements in detecting much dimmer stars or red dwarfs. Up until recently, red dwarf stars have been extremely difficult to detect because they are extremely dim in nature. Now that astronomers can detect the red dwarfs it turns out red dwarfs are way more common than was previously believed. Elliptical galaxies contain around 20 times as many of them as our own galaxy and could turn out to make up 80 percent of all stars in the universe. This could mean there's less "dark matter" than previously thought, since these red dwarfs could account for a lot of the universe's missing mass.

IO9 red dwarf article Wiki Red Dwarf article
Thanks to Dan for bringing the article to my attention

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