CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2006
 6 April 2006

6 April 2006

Speaker: Warren Brown (CfA)

Title: Clay Fellowship Lecture:
Hypervelocity Stars Ejected from the Galactic Center

Abstract: A natural consequence of a massive black hole in a dense stellar environment like the Galactic Center is the creation of "hypervelocity stars," stars ejected at extreme velocities from the Galaxy. Last year we announced the discovery of the first hypervelocity star: a 3 solar mass main sequence B star, just like the stars seen in the Galactic Center, but at a distance 110 kpc from the Galactic Center. We have designed a successful targeted survey for new hypervelocity stars, and discuss our newest discoveries. Because hypervelocity stars originate from a close encounter with a massive black hole, hypervelocity stars can be used as important tools for understanding the nature and environs of black holes. Our recent discoveries allows us to place interesting limits on the mass function of stars in the Galactic center and the history of stellar interactions with the massive back hole.

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