Astronomers have found the fastest star in the milky Way

Astronomers have discovered a star that is on the minimum average distance from the Central black hole of the milky Way, reported in the journal The Astrophysical Journal. In addition, they were able to find another record holder — the fast-moving light, whose speed is eight percent of the speed of light.

In the center of the milky Way is a supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, which is at a distance of 26 thousand light years from Earth. It is surrounded by a hot cloud of gas that emits in the radio as well as a small group dim S-stars that revolve around it at a relatively close orbits. Previously, scientists found several dozen such facilities, including the S62, which makes one revolution around the Central black hole for 9.9 years and is still considered the most korotkoperiodnykh star around the Central black hole. Now, however, astronomers were able to detect a new champion, whose orbital period of nearly two years less.

Florian Picker (Florian Peißker) from the Institute of physics of the University of Cologne together with his colleagues analyzed the data obtained with the infrared spectrograph SINFONI and NACO instrument installed at the telescope Very Large Telescope in Chile. Scientists have discovered five new luminaries of the S-class with masses from 2 up to 2.8 solar masses, including star S4711, which was, on average, closest to the Central black hole known today (i.e., has the smallest average distance to Sagittarius A* during motion along the orbit).

Observations have shown that S4711 is an object of spectral class B8/9-V with a mass exactly twice that of solar. It orbits at a speed of 6,7 thousand kilometers per second and completes one revolution around Sagittarius A* is about 7.6 years, making it the star with the shortest orbital period known around our Central black hole. S4711 moves in an elongated elliptical orbit, approaches Sagittarius A* at a distance of 144 astronomical units.

Also astronomers have found, and other record — star S4714, which was the most rapidly moving star in the milky Way from the open scientists. It orbits Sagittarius A* with a speed of 24 thousand kilometers per second — this means that it would take about half a day to make one revolution around the Sun in an orbit of the Earth.

From the editor

In the original version of this article stated that the star took at least fifteen seconds to orbit the Sun in an orbit of the Earth. This is a mistake — in fact it is the time at which a star would make one revolution around the Earth. In order to make one revolution around the Sun, it will need about half a day. We apologize to readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.