Release Images

Release No.: 2006-10
For Release: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 7:00pm

Two Exiled Stars Are Leaving Our Galaxy Forever

hypervelocity stars

A Smithsonian team of astronomers has found two "exiled" stars that were flung from the galactic center millions of years ago. Those stars are speeding out of the Milky Way at more than one million miles per hour, as shown in this artist's conception. Five exiled stars now are known, making them a new class of objects known as hypervelocity stars.

Ruth Bazinet, CfA

SDSS J091301.0+305120

This photograph from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey shows one of two newly discovered hypervelocity stars (marked with an arrow). SDSS J091301.0+305120 is traveling out of the galaxy at a speed of about 1.25 million miles per hour and currently is located at a distance of about 240,000 light-years from the earth. This image is about 7 arcminutes on a side, showing an area of the sky about 1/15 the size of the Full Moon.

SDSS Collaboration

SDSS J091759.5+672238

This photograph from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey shows the second of two newly discovered hypervelocity stars (marked with an arrow). SDSS J091759.5+672238 is moving outward at 1.43 million miles per hour and currently is located about 180,000 light-years from the earth. This image is about 7 arcminutes on a side, showing an area of the sky about 1/15 the size of the Full Moon.

SDSS Collaboration