Milky Way is full of surprises. One of the most recent discoveries uncovers our galaxy as just a temporary point for the route of fastest stars. These are called hypervelocity stars, and they reach such high speeds that they can run away from their original galaxy. So far, scientists couldn’t figure out where they come from and how they can reach such extreme speeds. However, they might have just discovered the answers.
Scientists Wanted to Learn Why the Fastest Stars Were Located only in Leo and Sextans Constellations
In the past, scientists could only resort to some possible theories to scratch the surface of this mystery. For instance, they believed that such hypervelocity stars must have been influenced by supermassive black holes to leave their position and wander the universe.
Other suggestions proposed a dwarf galaxy that left their stars behind when they came too close to Milky Way. Probably the most sensible of them all is the binary theory. Once one in a pair became a supernova, its partner was propelled at incredible speeds.
However, scientists came closer to the truth the moment they observed that most such stars were roaming the Sextans and Leo constellations. To find their answers, they collected data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey which they ran through computer software for simulations.
The Origin of Hypervelocity Stars Is the Large Magellanic Cloud
The results pointed out to a dwarf galaxy that orbits our Milky Way called the Large Magellanic Cloud. Thanks to today’s technology, scientists were able to simulate the course of each runaway celestial body that exited LMC only to enter our galaxy for the last two billion years. Researchers employed simulations one more time to determine the gravitational effects between the two galaxies.
It turns out that LMC orbits around Milky Way at 248.5 miles per second. This condition propels stars from the cloud into our galaxy at high enough speeds to become fastest stars around. Around half of these ejected bodies were identified as hypervelocity stars. Moreover, the reason why they are located in Sextans and Leo constellation is that this is where LMC orbit is.
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