A new class of fast-moving stars are on their way out of the Milky Way, scientists say.
Unlike most other known hypervelocity stars, the 20 sunsize stars are not exiting after interacting with the black hole in the heart of the galaxy, a massive body whose gravitational influence usually provides the kick needed to escape, the new study found.
“These new hypervelocity stars are very different from the ones that have been discovered previously,” the study’s lead author Lauren Palladino, of Vanderbilt University, said in a statement. [Top 10 Star Mysteries of All Time]
“The original hypervelocity stars are large, blue stars, and appear to have originated from the galactic center,” Palladino added. “Our new stars are relatively small — about the size of the sun — and the surprising part is that none of them appear to have come from the galactic core.”