Mystery star's origin is determined

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- U.S.-led astronomers have determined a young star speeding away from the Milky Way came from a neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The star's origin has puzzled astronomers, since it is too young and has traveled too far to have come from the Milky Way, the galaxy that includes the Earth's solar system.


The star is one of 10 so-called hypervelocity stars so far found speeding from the Milky Way.

"But this one is different from the other nine," said the astronomers, because it would have taken 100 million years to get to its present location and the star is only 35 million years old."

Now, after analyzing its velocity, light intensity and, for the first time, its elemental composition, the scientists discovered it was ejected from an as-yet-to-be-observed black hole.

The research by Carnegie astronomers Alceste Bonanos and Mercedes Lopez-Morales, with collaborators Ian Hunter and Robert Ryans from Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is to be published in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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