|Time-lapse photograph of the CIBER rocket launch, taken from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia|
In Friday’s issue of the journal Science, conclusions from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment or CIBER, suggest that as many as half of all stars in our universe may lie outside the home of galaxies. Not visible through Earth-bound telescopes due to their faint glow, these lone stars may be the points that connect galaxies together in a far spanning web of light.
These ‘homeless’ stars are believed by astronomers to have been evicted by their galaxies by mergers and collisions.
NASA program scientist Michael Garcia said this dim glow between galaxies is as bright as all the known galaxies combined, and is redefining previous understandings of galactic structure. Instead of being defined by sharpened borders, galaxies may span further outward, thinning like a morning mist over a darkened pond.