Astronomers estimate that the Milky Way galaxy has somewhere between 100 billion and 200 billion stars. Considering the diameter of 100,000 light-years that the galaxy has, those numbers don’t seem too astonishing anymore.
Even so, some stars don’t seem to like it too much in our galaxy. It’s also the case for the LP 40−365 star, which is located roughly 2,000 light-years away from Earth. The star is heading towards the edges of our galaxy. LP 40-365 is one of the unique types of stars that move very fast. More precisely, we’re talking about remnants of massive white dwarfs.
The peculiar star is a result of a supernova
The explanation for the star’s speed and trajectory towards the edges of the galaxy is simple. LP 40-365 is a piece blown away by a past cosmic explosion known as a supernova. The object is still being propelled by the blast.
JJ Hermes, assistant professor of astronomy at Boston University College of Arts & Sciences, declared as quoted by Phys.org:
This star is moving so fast that it’s almost certainly leaving the galaxy…[it’s] moving almost two million miles an hour.
If you’re still not convinced why the discovery of the star must be notable, check out what Odelia Putterman, a former BU student, has to say, as quoted by the same publication:
To have gone through partial detonation and still survive is very cool and unique, and it’s only in the last few years that we’ve started to think this kind of star could exist.
Supernovae are known as incredibly powerful explosions, and certainly, we wouldn’t want our planet to be in the trajectory of such a cosmic blast. A supernova can even be as bright as an entire galaxy.
The new discovery was published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.