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Press Release

Release No.: 2005-05For Release: Tuesday, February 08, 2005
First Stellar Outcast Discovered by Astronomers
stellar outcast
The outcast star is marked by the arrow. The outcast star is leaving the Milky Way forever, and is already in the distant outskirts of the Galaxy. The image comes from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and shows an area of sky 1/50th the size of the full Moon.
Credit: SDSS Collaboration
Low Resolution Image (jpg)
stellar outcast
Astronomers at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory have discovered the first star flung out of the Milky Way, speeding away at over 1.5 million miles per hour. This tremendous speed likely resulted from a close encounter with the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The so-called outcast star is shown in this artist's depiction in its current location as it travels through the distant outskirts of the Milky Way.
Credit: Ruth Bazinet, CfA
High Resolution Image (jpg)
Low Resolution Image (jpg)
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