a view of antimatter stars in a space

a view of antimatter stars
in a space

It is all standard stuff to all known stars. However, astronomers have not entirely excluded the possibility of making antimatter. 

Antimatter Defined

Antimatter is the alter ego of ordinary matter, which is charged opposite. For example, twins called positrons have electrons of antimatter. Positrons have a positive charge when electrons have a negative electric charge. Physicists believe that the cosmos has been born with the exact quantities of matter and antimatter. Now there seems nearly to be no antimatter in the universe. 

Recently the data from space stations have cast questions on this concept of a virtually non-matter cosmos. One tool might have spotted pieces of antihelium atoms in space. However, if they were, antimatter may have been thrown away by antimatter stars. Antistars, that’s it. Scientists must validate these remarks. 

Fascinated by this concept, several investigators were looking for possible antistars. The squad understood this, and when they met, they annihilated each other. That might occur when ordinary matter falls into an antistar from an interstellar region. This sort of destruction of particles produces gamma rays of some wavelengths. So in Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope data, the researchers looked for wavelengths. 

And they found them

Fourteen locations in the sky have released the gamma rays predicted from the antimatter events. The spots weren’t like other well-known producers of gamma rays — such as spinning neutron stars or black holes. This was more proof of the anti-stars source. Researchers have reported online findings of 20 April in Physical Review D. 

Then the scientists determined how many antistars our solar system may have. These estimations were based on the most likely location of antistars, assuming they existed.  Everyone on the disc would be surrounded by plenty of ordinary matter in our galaxy. This could cause several gamma rays to emit. They should therefore be easy to find. But just 14 possibilities were discovered by the researchers. 

That means that antistars are uncommon. How uncommon? For every 400 thousand regular stars, perhaps only one antistar would exist. Considering the amount of antimatter required, maybe that isn’t surprising.

However, there could be antistars outside the discs of the Milky Way. There would be less likelihood of interacting with ordinary things. In this more secluded habitat, they should likewise release fewer gamma rays. And that makes antimatter more challenging to find them. But every ten regular stars may have antistar hiding in that scenario. 

There are still just hypothetical antistars. Indeed, it might be almost hard to prove any object to be an antistar. Why? Simon Dupourque says that antistars appear virtually the same as conventional stars. In Toulouse, France, he’s an astrophysicist. He works at the Astrophysical and Planetological Research Institute. 

Wishing on a Star

The candidates discovered to date are not antistars, he adds, would be much easier to prove. Astronomers might see how the candidates’ gamma rays evolve. These variations might indicate if such objects are neutron stars rotating. Other forms of radiation might suggest that the objects indeed are black holes. 

“This would be a big blow” for our understanding of the cosmos if antistars exist. Pierre Salati, who did not participate in the work, concludes. This astrophysicist works in the theoretical physics laboratory of Annecy-le-Vieux in France. Seeing antistars means that not all of the antimatter of the cosmos has been lost. Instead, in isolated pockets of space, some might have lived.