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Microlensing by brown dwarf star, second frame

Microlensing by brown dwarf star, second frame

R670/0045

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Credit

DR. CHARLES ALCOCK, MACHO COLLABORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. CHARLES ALCOCK, MACHO COLLABORATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Signature of dark matter. Second 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) at the peak of 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 gravity 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 R670/044 and R670/046.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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