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Judi Lynn

(161,409 posts)
Thu Oct 4, 2018, 08:07 PM Oct 2018

13 Hyperfast, Alien Stars Are Invading the Milky Way

13 Hyperfast, Alien Stars Are Invading the Milky Way
By Brandon Specktor, Senior Writer | October 4, 2018 02:57pm ET

Have you ever seen a shooting star? No, not a micrometeorite flaring to a crisp in Earth's atmosphere — an actual star, careening out of its orbit at millions of miles an hour on a hell-bent journey to blow this pop stand of a galaxy and enter intergalactic space.

Astronomers call them "hypervelocity stars," and they represent the fastest-moving stars in our galaxy. These rogue stars move so speedily that they are gravitationally unbound from the Milky Way; instead of orbiting the galaxy's center like our sun and billions of others do, many hypervelocity stars seem to blaze forward on an unstoppable path out of the Milky Way entirely. Some may end up drifting aimlessly through intergalactic space. Others might one day plunge through the hearts of distant, alien galaxies like cosmic expats.

And still others might already be aliens, themselves. In a new study published Sept. 20 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, astronomers at Leiden University in the Netherlands identified 13 new hypervelocity stars that cannot be traced back to any part of our galaxy. Instead of trying to break out of the Milky Way, these renegade stars appear to have broken in. [18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]

"Rather than flying away from the Galactic center, most of the high velocity stars we spotted seem to be racing towards it," study co-author Tommaso Marchetti, a researcher at Leiden Observatory, said in a statement. "These could be stars from another galaxy, zooming right through the Milky Way."


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13 Hyperfast, Alien Stars Are Invading the Milky Way (Original Post) Judi Lynn Oct 2018 OP
Wow. Thanks for this. I want my own starship one day! Fred Sanders Oct 2018 #1
Hooray! Wave as you go by! n/t Judi Lynn Oct 2018 #2
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