Lost in space? Half of all stars may lie outside galaxies, says study of infrared light
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 3:52 PM - The universe may be full of reclusive stars -- not washed-up Hollywood stars, but the kind lurking deep in the cosmos.
Scientists report that as many as half of all stars may lie outside galaxies.
Individually, these lonesome stars are too faint to detect. But together, they create a background of fluctuating near-infrared light.
A team of astronomers from the U.S., Japan and Korea say the diffuse glow appears to be from stars booted out of their galaxies by mergers and collisions.
DON'T MISS: GREAT SHOT: A rocky path to a distant galaxy
The measurements by Michael Zemcov of the California Institute of Technology and his colleagues were made on two suborbital rocket flights, in 2010 and 2012, and validated by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Details of their experiment were published in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
BELOW: Four-year exlpoding star time lapse
Files from The Associated Press