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Runaway Stars Cut Across the Milky Way

Plamena M.Plamena M.

Dozens of runaway stars cut across our Milky Way galaxy. 80 of them will be subjected to thorough observation with the infrared telescope WIRO, located in Wyoming.

The discovery was announced during a scheduled meeting held by the American Astronomical Society in Florida. Infrared photos taken by the Spitzer and WISE telescopes, which were launched into space during the 1st decade of the new millennium, were presented at the conference.

These runaway stars are easily identified by the red glow they emanate. The radiance is a result of the high speed of the material the stars sweep up when they pass by. It travels at more than 19 mi (30 km) per second in relation to the surrounding objects. Scientists identify them by the waves of material that form in front of them. Their acceleration is caused by gravity or the explosion of another star.

Objects in the form of arcs are clearly visible in the pictures. In 95% of the cases, large and massive stars were found in the center of each picture. Scientists have identified runaways from past studies.


However, runaway stars remain a mystery to scientists. Their discoverers are not clear on how they were created and evolved. Still, they may be the most abundant in the Milky Way.

One of the observed stars is binary and shoots out waves of gas at supersonic speed. It is the 1st time such a phenomenon has been observed. At the moment there is no explanation about how 2 stars close to each other can move that quickly through space without changing their trajectory and most importantly, without separating.

According to one theory, runaway stars are attracted by the gravity in a section of the galaxy that's overpopulated with stars. A different theory posits that they were part of a different binary system and began their journey after an explosion of one of the stars in that system. Whatever their origins, scientists will continue to observe them.