by Max Barry

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Region: Confederation of Corrupt Dictators

First Quark Star Discovered!

The Riesling-Oldham Scientific Satellite (or ROSS) has just found an entire galaxy of quark stars of varying types, provisionally named RO-22. Whilst it's mostly strange stars, there seems to be top, bottom and charm stars too. The galaxy is 5.12 BLY away. The galaxy is extremely populated, with about 1 trillion stars, despite it only being a few thousand light years in diameter. This is hypothesised to be due to the small sizes of the quark stars and their collective density. The scientists at ROSS have also hypothesised that, due to this, neutron stars must contain strange/quark matter in their cores, at some proportion. There are two main ways the galaxy could've ended up like this:

1. It was formerly full of neutron stars, and several kilonova caused a large spilling of quarklets in the cores of the neutron stars (An estimate is not given yet for the amount of kilonova required for this state to happen because it is dependent on the amount of quarklets within each core.), which then caused quark stars to form out of the quarklets, who then released more quarklets. Due to the 10,000 or so neutron stars estimated to be within the galaxy, this is the most likely cause, although we aren't actually certain whether or not there are neutron stars in the galaxy.
2. In the early universe (because the galaxy must, at the very least, be 8 billion years old based on the distance and development of the galaxy), large clouds of quark matter formed and then, like regular stars, formed out of the clouds. And then the stars moved together and so on.

The British Republic would like to propose that the galaxy be called "Ivanenko" after one of the physicists that first theorised quark stars. The discovery has been hailed across the nation, with obscure nuclear physicist/astrophysicist Dr. Thomas Collins rising to become the loved man he is now. In fact, Leicester's leaks actually proved him to have been a great mind in the Operation, having been the one to design and lead the testing of the Roald Amundsen Ion Bomb. After the Operation was mostly closed post-Leicester, he moved to work in astrophysics, where, after some time, he became the leader of the ROSS satellite's team, mostly due to his discovery of the Ion Bomb.

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