Scientists have discovered the fastest star in the known universe

Credit image: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Credit image: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 07 July 2022, at 06:42 am Los Angeles time

Scientists have found, as they say, "the fastest star in the known universe."

It is 100 AU away from our planet and orbits Sagittarius A black hole.

After more than 20 years of research with 5 telescopes involves, astronomers have determined that the star, now named S4716, orbits the black hole at a speed of over 8,000 kilometers per second.

If we put this distance on Earth, then with the help of the star you could go from Mexico City to Toronto and back in less than a second.

However, the star orbits a black hole with a diameter of 23.5 million kilometers, which means that it makes a complete orbit every 4 years.

"For a star to be in a stable orbit so close and fast in the vicinity of a supermassive black hole was completely unexpected and marks the limit that can be observed with traditional telescopes," said Dr. Florian Peissker, lead author of the new study.

"Stars cannot form so easily near the black hole. S4716 had to move inwards, for example by approaching other stars and objects in the S cluster, which caused its orbit to shrink significantly," Michael Zajaček, an astrophysicist at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic.

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