Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Space Science

One of the Milky Way's Fastest Stars Is an Invader From Another Galaxy ( 92

sciencehabit writes from a report via Science Magazine: On April 25, the European Space Agency released a data set gathered by the Gaia satellite containing the motions, and much more, of 1.3 billion stars. Astronomers have immediately sifted the data for fast-moving stars. They are prized as forensic tools: When rewound, their trajectories point back to the violent events that launched them. Last week, one team reported the discovery of three white dwarfs -- the dying embers of sunlike stars -- hurtling through the galaxy at thousands of kilometers per second, perhaps flung out from supernovae explosions. Another group reported more than two dozen fast-moving stars, some apparently kicked out by our galaxy's central black hole. And a third has confirmed that a star blazing through the outskirts of the Milky Way actually hails from another galaxy altogether, the Large Magellanic Cloud. The flood of discoveries has sent astronomers racing to their telescopes to check and classify the swift objects, says Harvard University astronomer James Guillochon. The findings have been reported in the journal Science.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

One of the Milky Way's Fastest Stars Is an Invader From Another Galaxy

Comments Filter:
  • Go back to your own galaxy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Only a matter of time until Trump decides to build another wall.

    • This is like a Puerto Rican moving to mainland US. Got a problem with that?

    • by sproketboy ( 608031 ) on Thursday May 10, 2018 @08:12AM (#56587154)

      They're White dwarfs so it's OK.

    • by cusco ( 717999 )

      The really cool thing is that this is barely the foam on top of your latte, no one has had time to do more than scrape the surface of the data dump yet. Astronomers say it will take years just to analyze what they have, and data is going to keep pouring in like a fire hose. This is an exciting time to be alive.

    • Go back to your own galaxy.

      That may or may not be possible.

      A lot of galaxies are moving apart so quickly as space expands- that even travelling at the fastest allowed speed, the speed of light, the distance between them can never be crossed.

      This coming from a nearby Galaxy, that might not be the case, I don't know. Further apart the galaxies the more likely they are moving away from each other faster than light due to expanding space.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2018 @06:53AM (#56586926)

    The question is, which of these stars has the Puppeteer homeworld?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The catalog contains 1 billion stars. If you specifically look for 10 outliers, then maybe you indeed find 10 unusual stars, or maybe you're spotting those stars which had unlucky circumstances that caused processing errors. An error rate of 1/100,000,000 would be incredibly good. Why are these astronomers entirely sure that the error rate of Gaia is exactly zero?

  • by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak@speakeasy. n e t> on Thursday May 10, 2018 @07:33AM (#56587022) Homepage

    I, for one, welcome our new, high-speed extragalactic invader. . . . .

  • by HxBro ( 98275 ) on Thursday May 10, 2018 @07:33AM (#56587028)

    Not another cloud company, wonder what the latency is...

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Thursday May 10, 2018 @08:11AM (#56587150)

    Nice to read headlines with "Invader From Another Galaxy" and it's not in the National Enquirer.

    • Stick around for four to eight billion years when the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are merging. The Galactic Enquirer will have extensive coverage on which stars are in or out of rehab.
  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday May 10, 2018 @08:20AM (#56587184)

    Being they are a bit more closer to us, we can use these to see what differences other galaxies may have then ours. While I am not expecting anything exotic like an Anti-Matter star, But some different heavy atoms may be present at a different ratio.


    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      Dwarf galaxies are metal-poor. It's not that they don't produce supernovae, it's that they can't hang onto the enriched debris. (At least that's my understanding of this excellent lecture [].) So I would expect a main sequence star from the LMC to be of low metallicity, but obviously not white dwarfs.

  • Maybe we're hurtling at great speed and it's standing still. Or maybe I need to back off so much coffee in the morning - either or

  • Why invader? Why not a guest or visitor?

    Is there some magic spell cast on the humankind recently making everybody angry about everything?
    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      > Is there some magic spell cast on the humankind recently making everybody angry about everything?

      Lol, well put. I mean, it certainly seems that way.

  • Without knowing anything about where other galaxies are, the odds of one shooting a star directly at us struck me as odd- if galaxies were emitting stars occasionally, shouldn't there be a bunch more lone stars zipping all around?

    In any event, apparently the [] is both reasonably close as far as galaxies go, is in *orbit* around the milky way, and is about 1% the mass of the milky way.

    So maybe we stole the star, eh? "Kidnapped star" would sound just as fun as "Invading star",

    • there are a bunch, and the Milky Way interacts with "satellite galaxies" and even made some of we'll "collide" with Andromeda in "only" a couple billion years...which mostly won't hurt individual star systems but will eject many.

      so yes ejections happen "often" on cosmic timescales

      • The Sun will have expanded nearly to Mars by them, won't it?

        Not really any point in panicking one way or the other. I know my medical insurance won't cover me at even half that age, especially against things like being totally fucking burnt to fuck.

        • the next billion years will probably be the last for multicellular life, neat scenarios here:


          Hardly anything to worry about, modern humans have been around for less than 300,000 years, and 540 million years ago all the types of animal phyla suddenly appeared when before that most life was single celled

    • There are...

      This study [] identified 675 stars on the outskirts of the Mily Way galaxy that appear to have come from the inner galaxy.

      In 1997, it was found that in the Virgo cluster of galaxies, there may be over one trillion [] extragalactic stars, or more than 10% of the total stellar population of the whole cluster.

      And finally...Half [] the stars in the universe may be intergalactic wanders, which might solve a large part of the dark matter problem.

  • Why there's an energy barrier at the edge of the Milky Way. The Organians put it there to stop those pesky extragalactic invader stars!

  • And a third has confirmed that a star blazing through the outskirts of the Milky Way actually hails from another galaxy altogether

    I wonder how fast it can do the Kessel Run!

  • Dang. This could get messy for our galaxy.

  • Fiiiiix bayonets!

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!