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Saturday June 22, 2024

Euclid space telescope unveils 1.5 trillion orphan stars

Orphan stars are brightening the space between the galaxies of the Perseus cluster

By Web Desk
May 29, 2024
1.5 trillion orphan stars discovered by Euclid. — Euclid consortium
1.5 trillion orphan stars discovered by Euclid. — Euclid consortium

Euclid space telescope helped scientists discover a staggering 1.5 trillion orphan stars moving through a massive cluster of thousands of galaxies, which is one of the largest structures in the cosmos.

With ghostly blue light, these orphan stars, ripped free from their own galaxies, are brightening the space between the galaxies of the Perseus cluster. This so-called "intracluster" light is so faint making it many thousands of times darker than the night sky over Earth, according to Space.

Euclid may help scientists in understanding where the faint light aspect from galaxy clusters comes from by observing this intracluster light in the Perseus cluster, which is placed at 240 million light-years away from Earth and has a mass equivalent to around 650 trillion suns.

"We were surprised by our ability to see so far into the outer regions of the cluster and discern the subtle colours of this light," Nina Hatch, team leader and University of Nottingham scientist said in a statement.

"This light can help us map dark matter if we understand where the intracluster stars came from. By studying their colours, luminosity, and configurations, we found they originated from small galaxies.,” she added.