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Supermassive Dark Star candidates seen with JWST

Presentation #326.05 in the session Dark Matter & Dark Energy.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Supermassive Dark Star candidates seen with JWST

The first generation of stars in the Universe is yet to be observed. There are two leading theories for those objects that mark the beginning of the cosmic dawn: hydrogen burning PopulationIII stars and Dark Stars, objects in thermal and hydrostatic equilibrium made of hydrogen and helium but powered by Dark Matter annihilations. The latter can grow to become supermassive (M~ 106 M) and extremely bright (L~ 109L). We show that each of the following three objects: JADES-GS-z13-0, JADES-GS-z12-0, and JADES-GS-z12-0 (at redshifts z in [11,14]) are consistent with a Supermassive Dark Star interpretation, thus identifying, for the first time, Dark Star candidates. So far, the spectra obtained with NIRSpec for those three objects is too noisy to identify any features besides the Lyman break that confirms them as high redshift very luminous sources. In this talk we also discuss how one can disambiguate, using spectroscopy, Supermassive Dark Stas from high redshift starburst galaxies. If any of the three Supermassive Dark Star candidates we identified will be spectroscopically confirmed as a Dark Star, this would mark the beginning of a new era in astronomy: the observational study of Dark Matter powered stars. Additionally, this would confirm the annihilating Dark Matter hypothesis.

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