Washington : Travelling at an extreme speed of six million km/hour, astronomers observed an ultrafast star ejected by a supermassive black hole at the heart at the Milky Way five million years ago. Named S5-HVS1, the star located in the constellation of Grus, was observed to be moving 10 times faster than most of the stars in the galaxy and the discovery was made by Sergey Koposov, Carnegie Mellon University as part of the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic Survey, appeared in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
“The velocity of the discovered star is so high that it will inevitably leave the galaxy and never return,” said study co-author Douglas Boubert, University of Oxford. Astronomers have wondered about high-velocity stars since their discovery only two decades ago. S5-HVS1 is unprecedented due to its high speed and close passage to the Earth, “only” 29 thousand light-years away.
“This is super exciting, as we have long suspected that black holes can eject stars with very high velocities. However, we never before had a clear association of such a fast star with the galactic centre,” said lead author Koposov.