London, June 25 : A new research has suggested that the universe's first stars, might still be around at the centre of the Milky way, in frozen form, and could provide important insights into the elusive nature of dark matter.
According to a report in New Scientist, the first stars of the Universe lived fast and died young, burning out in only a few hundred thousand years.
But, the new research suggests some of them might still be around as a result of interactions with dark matter, which halted their growth and curbed their blazing excess.
"These stars can be frozen for timescales longer than the age of the universe," said Gianfranco Bertone of the Paris Institute of Astrophysics in France.
Such frozen stars might still linger at the centre of the Milky Way, according to scientists, and could provide important insights into the elusive nature of dark matter.
Many of the stellar firstborns, called population III stars, are thought to have formed inside dense dark matter clouds.
If dark matter particles are made up of heavier versions of already known particles, an idea known as supersymmetry, as many scientists believe, they could lose energy through interactions with normal matter and sink to the centres of the stars.
Trapped, the dark matter particles would collide and annihilate into a spray of elementary particles and energy.
A star that captured enough dark matter particles would still emit radiation, but its fires would no longer be fuelled by nuclear reactions. As a result, it would be caught in a state of arrested development.
Previous modeling work suggested population III stars could remain in this frozen state for hundreds of thousands of years before using up enough local dark matter to resume normal stellar evolution.
However, new research by Bertone and his team shows that if the first stars were born in exceptionally dense dark matter regions - such as those near the centres of galaxies,and they could remain frozen indefinitely.
"There could be conditions in the early universe where stars form in big enough reservoirs of dark matter to last until the present day," Bertone told New Scientist.
Finding primordial dark matter stars would provide long-sought evidence for supersymmetry, Moskalenko told New Scientist.
"If we find the dark matter burners, it would mean that the dark matter indeed consists of supersymmetrical particles, or 'superpartners'," he said.