Fast-moving stars may unlock secrets to center of the Milky Way

02/13/2013 |

Six stars discovered racing through space may have come from the black hole in the center of the Milky Way, a finding that could help astronomers learn how stars form from the center of our galaxy and estimate the size of the black hole. The discovery is the first evidence of "hypervelocity stars" -- whose masses are similar to our sun's -- which are believed to form when a black hole swallows a star and ejects its twin. "These are incredibly fast-moving objects that are actually gravitationally unbound to the Milky Way," study author Keith Hawkins said at the American Astronomical Society meeting last month.

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