According to new research, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way isn’t the only space object that can eject stars out of our galaxy. The scientists spotted a hypervelocity star expelled from the Milky Way’s disk, situated far from Sagittarius A.
Known as LAMOST-HVS1, the mysterious star got ejected from the Milky Way’s disk, far away from the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and “this discovery dramatically changes our view on the origin of fast-moving stars,” as reported the study co-author, Monica Valluri, an astronomy professor at the University of Michigan.
“The fact that the trajectory of this massive, fast-moving star originates in the disk rather than at the galactic center indicates that the very extreme environments needed to eject fast-moving stars can arise in places other than around supermassive black holes,” the researcher added.
Scientists spotted a hypervelocity star ejected from Milky Way’s disk
A hypervelocity star travels through space at speeds higher than 1 million mph (1.6 million km/h). These celestial bodies are rare and challenging to spot. Up till now, astronomers only identified about 30 such stars, with the first one detected in 2005.
According to the theory, a hypervelocity star can only reach such high speeds under enormous gravitational forces. The culprit for that was Sagittarius A, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, a monster of a black hole, totaling about 4 million solar masses. But that’s not the case with LAMOST-HVS1 which seems to have been ejected from our galaxy’s disk.
“We thought this star came from the galactic center. But if you look at its trajectory, it is clear that it is not related to the galactic center. We have to consider other possibilities for the origin of this hypervelocity star,” said Kohei Hattori from the University of Michigan.
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