In 2005 Smithsonian astronomers discovered the first
"hypervelocity star:" a massive star whose 2 million mph velocity can be
explained only by ejection from the Galaxy's massive black hole. This
"outcast" star has been thrown out of the Milky Way and is destined to
drift in the emptiness of intergalactic space. Smithsonian astronomers
are leading the discovery of new hypervelocity stars. Hypervelocity stars
tell us about the types of stars orbiting near the central black hole, and
the history of stellar interactions with the central black hole.
General Info & Podcasts
2005 New York Times article.
2006 New Scientist podcast.
podcast of American Astronomical Society invited talk.
2007 Harvard University Bok Prize Lecture
2008 Smithsonian Secretary's Research Prize
2009 Observatory Night talk
2010 Sackler Conference talk
2011 Astronomy Beat (published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific)
Center Origin for HE 0437-5439, the Hypervelocity Star near the Large Magellanic
The Anisotropic Spatial Distribution of Hypervelocity Stars .pdf
MMT Hypervelocity Star Survey .pdf
Hypervelocity Stars: From the Galactic Center to the Halo
Hypervelocity Stars. III. The Space Density and Ejection History
of Main Sequence Stars from the Galactic Center
Hypervelocity Stars. II. The Bound Population
Hypervelocity Stars. I. The Spectroscopic Survey
Successful Targeted Search for Hypervelocity Stars
of an Unbound Hypervelocity Star in the Milky Way Halo
Hypervelocity stars also appear in Peter Schneider's textbook on "Extragalactic
Astronomy and Cosmology, An Introduction", in Fulvio Melia's textbook The Galactic Supermassive
Black Hole, in Paul
McAuley's sci-fi book Eternal
Light, and in an original song "Runaway Star" by Paul Hankinson.