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Fastest Star Known To Mankind Found Orbiting Milky Way's Black Hole At 8,000 Km/s

Indiatimes logo Indiatimes 06-07-2022 Bharat Sharma
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A star with the shortest orbital period around a black hole has been discovered by scientists. This star orbits a black hole at speeds of 8,000 kilometres per second. 

The discovery was made by researchers at the University of Cologne and Masaryk University in Czech Republic. With this, scientists have officially discovered the fastest-known star, with record speeds of 8,000 kilometres per second.

NASA © Provided by Indiatimes NASA

What is so special about this fast-spinning star?

The star is officially called "S4716" and orbits Sagittarius A*, the black hole situated at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. It completes one full orbit in four years and comes as close to 100 AU (astronomical unit) - a very small distance in terms of astronomical standards. For perspective, one AU is 149,597,870 kilometres, reported.

Also read: Fastest-Growing Black Hole Ever Is Eating One Earth's Equivalent Each Second

The Astrophysical Journal © Provided by Indiatimes The Astrophysical Journal

The star's details were gathered from observations spanning almost two decades. For the observation's purpose, the scientists used a total of five telescopes, four of which were combined into a single large telescope to facilitate more accurate findings.

"For a star to be in a stable orbit so close and fast in the vicinity of a supermassive black hole was completely unexpected and marks the limit that can be observed with traditional telescopes," said Dr. Florian Peissker, the study's lead author.

Also read: A Rogue Merger Between Two Black Holes 'Kicked' The New Black Hole Far Away

NASA © Provided by Indiatimes NASA

With this discovery, scientists hope to better understand the origin and evolution of fast-moving stars that are situated in the heart of the Milky Way. It's unusual for stars to form so close to the black hole, suggesting that the star's orbit shrank over time. The study with these astonishing findings was published in The Astrophysical Journal.

What do you think about the fastest-known star to humans? Let us know in the comments below. For more in the world of technology and science, keep reading


Staff, S. X. (2022d, July 5). 8,000 kilometers per second: Star with the shortest orbital period around black hole discovered. Phys.Org. 

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