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Could iPTF14hls contain a huge amount of weakly interacting dark matter? Because the dark matter is weakly interacting, it wouldn't get expelled by explosions, and its strong gravity could suck more fusionable matter in to fuel a later explosion. My understanding is that weakly interacting dark matter still interacts via gravitation, and a dense plume of dark matter could plausibly been the birth site of the star. A related question: Perhaps most stars everywhere are sited at dense wisps or at least denser than average wisps of dark matter to give the contraction a head start? After all, there is considerably more dark matter than ordinary matter, so it could be an important factor in getting stars going.

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  • $\begingroup$ If so, the star should form a black hole, just as if it had a huge amount of ordinary matter. $\endgroup$ – mmesser314 Nov 20 '17 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ One thing to note is that dark matter is so weakly interacting that it wouldn't be expected to stay in a star if it fell in, for the same reasons that explosions wouldn't expel it. It would just pass through it. Ordinary matter clumps up because of gravity, but it only stays clumped up because of electromagnetic interactions. $\endgroup$ – Chris Nov 20 '17 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ mmessesser3141: Perhaps the huge amount of dark matter wasn't so huge that it would form a black hole. Chris: I don't understand your reasoning. If gravitation is holding the dark matter together, and it interacts weakly, then wouldn't the explosion of the star only weakly affect the dark matter inside? It seems to me that the dark matter would stay put. $\endgroup$ – Richard Peterson Nov 20 '17 at 2:40

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