Astronomers have been discovering the presence of terrestrial exoplanets (meaning rocky ones, like Mercury, Venus and Mars) around nearby stars for some time now, but aside from deducing their basic chemical makeup researchers can’t be sure if all the ingredients needed to make up a habitable, Earth-like world are present
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.