Why the first stars could have been filaments

Star formation in the early universe ain’t particularly well understood. Why should a pristine cloud of dust suddenly collapse to form a star?

One theory is that clumps of dark matter create gravitational wells into which the dust clouds collapse (although why dark matter should be clumpy and not smooth is anybody’s guess).

But Liang “Ang Li” Gao at Durham University in the UK says that in some theories dark matter might equally be drawn into filaments. In which case the first stars would have formed as filaments rather than spheres. So they’d look like giant lightbulbs hanging in the cocktail lounge of space.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0709.2165: Lighting the Universe with Filaments

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