Study: Total number of stars may be three-fold more than earlier estimates

Total number of stars

In a statement that underscores that the number of stars in the universe has thus far been gravely undercounted, scientists said on Wednesday that there apparently are nearly three-fold more stars than what has been perceived thus far.

Reporting their findings related to the number of stars, Pieter van Dokkum, a professor of astronomy at Yale, and Charlie Conroy of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., said in their study – published in the journal Nature – that there is evidence of an amazingly high profusion of dim, low-mass stars, each having nearly 10 times more starts than the Milky Way.

The astronomers, who based their findings on their observation of eight relatively close galaxies, said that the elderly galaxies are apparently so packed out with faint stars that it can be extrapolated that the heavens contain up to three times the total number of stars that have been estimated so far.

According to scientists, the evident abundance of stars in some galaxies - and their undercounting till now – is also highlights the possibility that the early history of the universe may require a rewrite, such that the earlier estimated total number of stars in the first massive galaxies of the universe is at least increased two times. .

Commenting on the findings, Dr. van Dokkum said that once the findings are substantiated, “we may have to abandon this notion of using the Milky Way as a template for the rest of the universe.”


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