Imagine flying to the moon in a mere 5-minutes. To do so, you’d have to be travelling at the rate of 746 miles per second or 2.7 million miles per hour. This is faster than any star in our galaxy had ever been observed to travel – until the hyper-velocity compact star known as US 708 was recognized by scientists to be zipping by so quickly it should escape the gravitational force of the Milky Way in just about 25 million years. But what set it streaking across the Cosmos?
The star was spotted in 2005 by Dr. Eugene Magnier, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii at Mano and his colleagues. But it was only in more recent years that the researchers used the Keck II and Pan-STARRS1 telescopes in Hawaii to measure the star’s hypervelocity and trajectory.
Now a helium star (or hot subdwarf), the scientists believe that US 708 – in its younger years – was probably a Red Giant orbiting a voracious White Dwarf whose appetite for 708’s hydrogen and helium led it finally to explode in brilliant super-nova splendor, flinging 708 on a fast ride to the ends of the galaxy and beyond. As is said so wisely in Hermeticism, ‘As Above, So Below.’
See the March 6th issue of the journal Science to read the full report.