Scientists have been recently confounded by the latest astrophysical mystery after discovering that more than 100 stars in space have disappeared within the past 70 years, reports Air & Space Magazine. The discovery was made by a group from the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics in Sweden and was led by Beatriz Villarroel.
The group, working under the project called the Vanishing and Appearing Sources during a Century of Observations (VASCO), compared star maps from the 1950s to those today. Unsurprisingly, there were a number of anomalies between the two, with 150,000 listed objects mentioned in the older surveys that did not match the new. Scientists continued to investigate, specifically observing 24,000 of the examples. Of the 24,000, the researchers are convinced that at least 100 stars that were previously listed can no longer be spotted.
In other words, the stars seem to have vanished into thin air.
Though scientists are searching for answers, there are still a number of questions that the team has been asking. For example, it is still not known where the missing stars are. It is possible that they are in the same location, just not emitting light and therefore undetectable to the mapping technology used. Or, it is also possible that the stars have moved locations due to some unknown scientific reason.
Though much research still has to be done on the topic, the team has offered several suggestions for understanding the bizarre event.
One explanation is that the stars were never really stars at all. There are other astrophysical events that often look like stars, such as flaring dwarf planets or failed supernovas. Another explanation is that the stars somehow collapsed into black holes.
However, though these reasons might have worked for a smaller number of missing stars, the sheer amount of those gone has raised the possibility that there is a new scientific phenomenon that has yet to be discovered or understood.
Last but not least, the research team has suggested one final hypothesis: aliens. The research paper specifically brings up the possibility that the stars were actually relics of "technologically advanced civilizations."
This latest enigma is just one more mind-blowing piece of news recently coming from the astrophysical world. With the advent of better technology, the understanding of space has been growing by leaps and bounds, and is ushering in new discoveries.
The big headline in the study of the stars is that scientists recently discovered the biggest black hole ever, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.