White dwarfs and Galactic dark matter

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White dwarfs and Galactic dark matter

Blackwell Publishing, Inc
  • Dark Matter
  • Physics And Astronomy
  • Galaxy: Structure


We discuss the recent discovery by Oppenheimer et al. of old, cool white dwarf stars, which may be the first direct detection of Galactic halo dark matter. We argue here that the contribution of more mundane white dwarfs of the stellar halo and thick disc would contribute sufficiently to explain the new high velocity white dwarfs without invoking putative white dwarfs of the dark halo. This by no means rules out that dark matter has been found, but it does constrain the overall contribution by white dwarfs brighter than MR 16 to significantly less than1 per cent of the Galactic dark matter. This work confirms a similar study by Reyl, Robin &Crz.

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