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Taurus Constellation is slowly disappearing



The Taurus constellation can look very different in the future thanks to a “lump” of dark matter that slowly tears apart part of the constellation’s distinctive bull’s head. According to research published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics (via Space.com), Hyades, a V-shaped cluster of stars that make up the head of the Taurus constellation, has changed shape over the estimated 600 million and 700 million years, and that the changes may be the result of dark matter.

In particular, the study sought to understand more about the cluster’s “tails”, two extensive groups of stars separated from the larger body by the entire cluster. One tail aims towards the middle of the Milky Way while the other extends away. While the so-called tidal tails are a natural formation due to gravitational interaction between groups of stars, they are most often seen with fusing galaxies. However, scientists have also seen tidal tails in star clusters, and they can sometimes indicate the presence of objects not seen in telescopes.

“Stars [in tidal tails] can be seen moving faster in any direction, and this may indicate that something is there that attracts them, “said Tereza Jerabkova, ESA Fellow at WordsSideKick.com.

So what does this have to do with Hyades and Taurus? When Jerabkova and the other scientists mapped the cluster̵

7;s tails, they noticed that the subsequent tail appeared to be “dissolving” in space, leading to the conclusion that the cluster is “disturbed by a massive lump” of matter and without anything known lump nearby, is a possible explanation dark matter. Scientists already theorize that so-called halos of dark matter helped shape different galaxies, and that remnants of “underhalos” may still exist. What rotates with the Hyades cluster and in turn the Taurus constellation, can in theory be one of these subhalos.

While this is probably not good news for the Taurus constellation in the long run, the informal stargazer on Earth is unlikely to notice any major change in the constellation at any time – Hyades is about 150 light-years from Earth – is an important discovery according to Jerabkova, one that shows data from star mapping missions can only help to reveal more about the stars and planets, but of different structures and objects that remain hidden in the sky.

What do you think of the idea that dark matter subhalos can tear down part of the Taurus constellation? Let us know in the comments.


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