The researchers found that in one of the star clusters, objects are located asymmetrically. It turned out that they were absorbed by an unknown substructure of dark matter.
The researchers found that an invisible space object was tearing apart a cluster of stars closest to the Sun. Scientists suggest that this is a substructure of dark matter containing a mass of 10 million suns. The possible presence of this “galactic coma” was discovered on a map that shows the enormous size of the Hyades star cluster, located just 153 light-years from Earth. The study appeared in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Scientists used data from the Gaia Observatory in December 2020 and found stars that later disappeared. The researchers ran a cluster simulation that predicted the current position and speed of stars that might drift over time. Since the goal of the researchers is to catalog the motion and distance of each observed star in the Milky Way, the team was able to compare the simulation results with real data and determine the trajectories of the stars.
The simulated map predicted that the stars would be relatively symmetrical; actual observations showed that the cluster’s rear tail was unpopulated with stars; this is an asymmetry that was also noted in the 2019 cluster study.
Up to this point, the team has suggested that the lurking chunk could be a substructure of dark matter. These clusters appear in the early years of galactic formation and then drift across galaxies.