Microlensing by brown dwarf star, first frame

Microlensing by brown dwarf star, first frame

R670/0044 Rights Managed

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This image is part of the feature Dark Matter


Caption: Signature of dark matter. First in a series of three colour-coded images showing a possible gravitational lensing event by a brown dwarf star in the halo around our galaxy. The arrow points to a star in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) before the lensing event. A brown dwarf is a type of star-like object too small to 'burn', and is thus almost invisible, but still has a gravitational field strong enough to act as a lens. As a type of MACHO (Massive Compact Halo Object) it could help account for the missing 'dark matter' which should make up about 90% of the mass of the Universe. Compare with R670/045 and R670/046.

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Keywords: astronomy, brown, brown dwarf, cold dark matter, cosmology, dark matter, dwarf star, gravitational lensing, lensing, macho, macho object, massive compact halo object, peculiar, science, star, star death, stellar

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