Astronomers have discovered dozens of solitary stars that move fast enough to escape the gravitational grasp of the Milky Way galaxy. The stars travel at over 1.5 million kilometers per hour, but scientists have no idea what force drives them.
“These new hypervelocity stars are very different from the ones that have been discovered previously,” said Vanderbilt University graduate student Lauren Palladino, lead author of the study.
“The original hypervelocity stars are large blue stars and appear to have originated from the galactic center. Our new stars are relatively small – about the size of the sun – and the surprising part is that none of them appear to come from the galactic core,” the scientist added, according to the research’s press release.
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