Fastest star ever known cannot even be slowed by gravity from entire galaxy

March 6, 2015 5:19 AM

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Most stars that reside in our Milky Way galaxy, including our Sun, are gravitationally tied to the galactic core and gradually orbit it. However, some stars zoom through the galaxy at extreme speeds; these hypervelocity stars move with such rapidity that they are not bound by the galaxy’s gravity.

Now, observations from the W. M. Keck Observatory and Pan-STARRS1 telescopes in Hawaii have revealed the fastest unbound hypervelocity star yet known. US 708 travels at approximately 1,200 kilometers per second, 2.7 million miles per hour. At this velocity, US 708 will break free of the Milky Way’...

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