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Fastest Star in the Galaxy Has a Strange Origin
by Calla Cofield, Space.com Staff Writer | March 05, 2015 02:01pm ET
The fastest-known star in the Milky Way is on a path out of the galaxy, and new research suggests it was a supernova that gave it the boot.
The runaway star, US 708, is traveling at 7,456 miles per second (12,000 km/s) that's 26 million miles per hour (43 million km/h) making it the fastest star in the Milky Way ever clocked by astronomers, according to the new research. Its speed will allow it to escape the gravitational pull of the galaxy, and eventually make its way into intergalactic space. A NASA animation shows the hypervelocity star's ejection after a star explosion, kicking off the rogue flight across the Milky Way.
Most other stars moving fast enough to get out of the galaxy are thought to be ejected by the monster black hole at the galactic center, the researchers say. US 708 is the first star with a different origin story, and the new research suggests its life has been strange and chaotic.
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