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18 Jun, 2023
1 min time to read

The fastest known stars to have ever escaped the Milky Way has been spotted , seemingly as a result of another star exploding in a massive thermonuclear blast.

These findings, based on data from the European Space Agency's Gaia survey, revealed not one, but six runaway stars in our galaxy, offering new insights into star birth rates and the possibility of even more undiscovered speedsters.

Star J1235 recorded an incredible speed of 1,053 miles per second, while star J0927 swept through space at 1,420 miles per second, saying goodbye to the Milky Way.

Of particular interest were the four superfast stars among the six fleeing stars, which are believed to have been caused by Type Ia supernovae. These powerful explosions occur in binary stellar systems, where a white dwarf and another star coexist.

The accumulation of material from the companion star causes a thermonuclear detonation, which leads to a secondary explosion in the core of the white dwarf. As a result of the explosion, the companion star is accelerated to enormous speeds and rushes away from our galaxy.

The discovery of these escaping stars not only sheds light on the dynamics of binary stellar systems, but also provides valuable clues for calculating stellar birth rates and identifying similar objects. Given the potential existence of many undiscovered runaway stars within the Milky Way, scientists suggest that even faster stellar escapes have yet to be found.