A few years ago, an identifier from the International Space Station discovered something unexpected: the anti-helium atom, the antimatter version of helium, flowed freely in space.
Not only will this element make your voice scream, it will release gamma rays when it comes in contact with helium. The anti-helium has been created in the lab, but the identification of candidates in space (presented at a conference, but still under review by peers) opens up a worrying but far-reaching possibility. There may be enough antimatter in the universe not only to disperse, but also to create. Well, actually, antistars.
The idea is foreign but interesting. Everything we touch and see is made of matter, and this has been the case since the beginning of the universe. We’re not sure exactly why this happened, but some researchers have speculated that some of the antimatter may have survived and crashed into the stars, producing and releasing antihelium that was eventually detected by alpha magnetic spectrometer 2. So, apart from the possible detection of anti-helium, is there any other evidence of the existence of anti-helium? Not yet, but a study by Physical Review D has given some clues as to how many antimatter objects there may be in the vicinity of the Milky Way.
Antimatter and matter are not together. When they face each other, they destroy, turning into gamma-rays. So Dr. Simon Dupourqué and colleagues decided to look at observations from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray observers. Over ten years of valuable data, they have found 14 sources that are not related to known objects. The formulas had to match the profile that would be created to eliminate the antimatter. This is obviously not the discovery of antistars, but like its anxious discussion, if they exist, how many of them are there and where we will find them.
Surprisingly, if this type of cosmic object existed, it would not be destroyed by matter alone, because stars do not tend to encounter enough in their lifetime. “The amount of matter acquired is very small, and the rate of formation is linked to the mass of the stars: if it increases the mass, its mass will decrease, which will further reduce the efficiency of further growth. So antistars could not be destroyed by galactic disks alone or by regular substances in the hollow,”Dr. Dupourqué from the Institute for Research in Astrophysics and Planétologie (IRP) told IFLScience.
“There is no exact explanation as to why antistar can be on disks, but their presence in the hollow can be explained under certain [circumstances] and it can be assumed that they are very old objects.” If – and if it is large – the antistars are out, this work estimates that there should be no more than one for every 400,000 regular matter stars.
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