SPACE

Report: Three Times More Stars Than Estimated

Star light, star bright, many more stars may come out tonight. Scientists said Wednesday there could be triple the amount of stars than previously thought, throwing off course the entire study of astronomy. “It’s very problematic,” said Yale astronomy professor Pieter van Dokkum, an author of the paper on the subject. Previous efforts to estimate the number of stars had sorely undercounted because of dwarf stars, which weigh less than a third of the Sun and are located in galaxies outside the Milky Way. Van Dokkum said the model could cause scientists to “abandon this notion of using the Milky Way as a template for the rest of the universe.” If the findings are correct, it could mean that astronomers have underestimated the masses of galaxies, and that galaxies developed earlier and faster than believed.