Dark-energy star

A dark-energy star is a hypothetical compact astrophysical object, which a minority of physicists think might constitute an alternative explanation for observations of astronomical black hole candidates.

The concept was proposed by physicist George Chapline. The theory states that infalling matter is converted into vacuum energy or dark energy, as the matter falls through the event horizon. The space within the event horizon would end up with a large value for the cosmological constant and have negative pressure to exert against gravity. There would be no information-destroying singularity.[1]


In March 2005, physicist George Chapline claimed that quantum mechanics makes it a "near certainty" that black holes do not exist and are instead dark-energy stars. The dark-energy star is a different concept from that of a gravastar.

Dark-energy stars were first proposed because in quantum physics, absolute time is required; however, in general relativity, an object falling towards a black hole would, to an outside observer, seem to have time pass infinitely slowly at the event horizon. The object itself would feel as if time flowed normally.[1]

In order to reconcile quantum mechanics with black holes, Chapline theorized that a phase transition in the phase of space occurs at the event horizon. He based his ideas on the physics of superfluids. As a column of superfluid grows taller, at some point, density increases, slowing down the speed of sound, so that it approaches zero. However, at that point, quantum physics makes sound waves dissipate their energy into the superfluid, so that the zero sound speed condition is never encountered.

In the dark-energy star hypothesis, infalling matter approaching the event horizon decays into successively lighter particles. Nearing the event horizon, environmental effects accelerate proton decay. This may account for high-energy cosmic-ray sources and positron sources in the sky. When the matter falls through the event horizon, the energy equivalent of some or all of that matter is converted into dark energy. This negative pressure counteracts the mass the star gains, avoiding a singularity. The negative pressure also gives a very high number for the cosmological constant.[2]

Furthermore, 'primordial' dark-energy stars could form by fluctuations of spacetime itself, which is analogous to "blobs of liquid condensing spontaneously out of a cooling gas". This not only alters the understanding of black holes, but has the potential to explain the dark energy and dark matter that are indirectly observed.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b Musser, George (7 July 2003). "Frozen Stars Black holes may not be bottomless pits after all". Scientific American. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b Merali, Zeeya (9 March 2006). "Three cosmic enigmas, one audacious answer". New Scientist. Retrieved 20 July 2012.


External links

Black star (semiclassical gravity)

A black star is a gravitational object composed of matter. It is a theoretical alternative to the black hole concept from general relativity. The theoretical construct was created through the use of semiclassical gravity theory. A similar

structure should also exist for the Einstein–Maxwell–Dirac equations system, which is the (super)classical limit of quantum electrodynamics, and for the Einstein–Yang–Mills–Dirac system, which is the (super)classical limit of the standard model.

A black star doesn't need to have an event horizon, and may or may not be a transitional phase between a collapsing star and a singularity. A black star is created when matter compresses at a rate significantly less than the freefall velocity of a hypothetical particle falling to the center of its star, because quantum processes create vacuum polarization, which creates a form of degeneracy pressure, preventing spacetime (and the particles held within it) from occupying the same space at the same time. This vacuum energy is theoretically unlimited, and if built up quickly enough, will stop gravitational collapse from creating a singularity. This may entail an ever-decreasing rate of collapse, leading to an infinite collapse time, or asymptotically approaching a radius bigger than zero.

A black star with a radius slightly greater than the predicted event horizon for an equivalent-mass black hole will appear very dark, because almost all light produced will be drawn back to the star, and any escaping light will be severely gravitationally redshifted. It will appear almost exactly like a black hole. It will feature Hawking radiation, as virtual particle pairs created in its vicinity may still be split, with one particle escaping and the other being trapped. Additionally, it will create thermal Planckian radiation that will closely resemble the expected Hawking radiation of an equivalent black hole.

The predicted interior of a black star will be composed of this strange state of spacetime, with each length in depth heading inward appearing the same as a black star of equivalent mass and radius with the overlayment stripped off. Temperatures increase with depth towards the centre.


Blitzars are a hypothetical type of astronomical object in which a spinning pulsar rapidly collapses into a black hole. They are proposed as an explanation for fast radio bursts (FRBs). The idea was proposed in 2013 by Heino Falcke and Luciano Rezzolla.

Bright giant

The luminosity class II in the Yerkes spectral classification is given to bright giants. These are stars which straddle the boundary between ordinary giants and supergiants, based on the appearance of their spectra.

CN star

A CN star is a star with strong cyanogen bands in its spectrum. Cyanogen is a simple molecule of one carbon atom and one nitrogen atom, with absorption bands around 388.9 and 421.6 nm. This group of stars was first noticed by Nancy G. Roman who called them 4150 stars.


A gravastar is an object hypothesized in astrophysics as an alternative to the black hole theory by Pawel O. Mazur and Emil Mottola. It has usual black hole metric outside of the horizon, but de Sitter metric inside. On the horizon there is a thin shell of matter. The term "gravastar" is a portmanteau of the words "gravitational vacuum star".

Hypothetical star

A hypothetical star is a star, or type of star, that is speculated to exist but has yet to be definitively observed. Hypothetical types of stars have been conjectured to exist, have existed or will exist in the future universe.

Infrared dark cloud

An infrared dark cloud (IRDC) is a cold, dense region of a giant molecular cloud. They can be seen in silhouette against the bright diffuse mid-infrared emission from the galactic plane.

Lambda Boötis star

A Lambda Boötis star is a type of peculiar star which has an unusually low abundance of iron peak elements in its surface layers. One possible explanation for this is that it is the result of accretion of metal-poor gas from a circumstellar disc, a second possibility is the accretion of material from a hot Jupiter suffering from mass loss. The prototype is Lambda Boötis.

Lead star

A lead star is a low-metallicity star with an overabundance of lead and bismuth as compared to other products of the S-process.

List of hottest stars

This is a list of hottest stars so far discovered (excluding degenerate stars), arranged by decreasing temperature. The stars with temperatures higher than 60,000 K are included.

OB star

OB stars are hot, massive stars of spectral types O or early-type B that form in loosely organized groups called OB associations. They are short lived, and thus do not move very far from where they formed within their life. During their lifetime, they will emit much ultraviolet radiation. This radiation rapidly ionizes the surrounding interstellar gas of the giant molecular cloud, forming an H II region or Strömgren sphere.

In lists of spectra the "spectrum of OB" refers to "unknown, but belonging to an OB association so thus of early type".

Photometric-standard star

Photometric-standard stars are a series of stars that have had their light output in various passbands of photometric system measured very carefully. Other objects can be observed using CCD cameras or photoelectric photometers connected to a telescope, and the flux, or amount of light received, can be compared to a photometric-standard star to determine the exact brightness, or stellar magnitude, of the object.A current set of photometric-standard stars for UBVRI photometry was published by Arlo U. Landolt in 1992 in the Astronomical Journal.


The photosphere is a star's outer shell from which light is radiated. The term itself is derived from Ancient Greek roots, φῶς, φωτός/phos, photos meaning "light" and σφαῖρα/sphaira meaning "sphere", in reference to it being a spherical surface that is perceived to emit light. It extends into a star's surface until the plasma becomes opaque, equivalent to an optical depth of approximately 2/3, or equivalently, a depth from which 50% of light will escape without being scattered.

In other words, a photosphere is the deepest region of a luminous object, usually a star, that is transparent to photons of certain wavelengths.

Q star

A Q-Star, also known as a grey hole, is a hypothetical type of a compact, heavy neutron star with an exotic state of matter. The Q stands for a conserved particle number. A Q-Star may be mistaken for a stellar black hole.

Starfield (astronomy)

A starfield refers to a set of stars visible in an arbitrarily-sized field of view, usually in the context of some region of interest within the celestial sphere. For example: the starfield surrounding the stars Betelgeuse and Rigel could be defined as encompassing some or all of the Orion constellation.

Stellar atmosphere

The stellar atmosphere is the outer region of the volume of a star, lying above the stellar core, radiation zone and convection zone.

Stellar mass

Stellar mass is a phrase that is used by astronomers to describe the mass of a star. It is usually enumerated in terms of the Sun's mass as a proportion of a solar mass (M☉). Hence, the bright star Sirius has around 2.02 M☉. A star's mass will vary over its lifetime as additional mass becomes accreted, such as from a companion star, or mass is ejected with the stellar wind or pulsational behavior.

Supernova impostor

Supernova impostors are stellar explosions that appear at first to be a supernova but do not destroy their progenitor stars. As such, they are a class of extra-powerful novae. They are also known as Type V supernovae, Eta Carinae analogs, and giant eruptions of luminous blue variables (LBV).

Yellow giant

A yellow giant is a luminous giant star of low or intermediate mass (roughly 0.5–11 solar masses (M)) in a late phase of its stellar evolution. The outer atmosphere is inflated and tenuous, making the radius large and the surface temperature as low as 5,200-7500 K. The appearance of the yellow giant is from white to yellow, including the spectral types F and G. About 10.6 percent of all giant stars are yellow giants.

Luminosity class
Star systems
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