Superfast star found leaving Milky Way at 1,700km per second

A star is flying fast and it's heading outside the galaxy.

Clint Huston | Nov 14, 2019

A star is making its way outside of the galaxy, and it's doing so at a rapid rate.

Astronomers have spotted a star flying outside of the Milky Way at more than 6m km/h (3.7m mph), or 1,700km per second. Astronomers say the flight was likely the cause of an encounter with a supermassive black hole.

"This star is travelling at record-breaking speed, 10 times faster than most stars in the Milky Way, including our sun," said Da Costa. "In astronomical terms, the star will be leaving our galaxy fairly soon and it will likely travel through the emptiness of intergalactic space for eternity."

The star, known as S5-HVS1, is the third-fastest star ever measured. The other two were ones that had been boosted to high speeds in supernovae explosions.

"Excluding these somewhat special cases, this star is far and away the fastest ever spotted," said Dougal Mackey, a co-author also at ANU College of Science.

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