Fastest-ever star discovered orbiting our galaxy's black hole

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Fastest-ever star discovered orbiting our galaxy's black hole
Fastest-ever star discovered orbiting our galaxy's black hole
08-13-2020 11:00 am
(CNET August, 2020) Sagittarius A, a huge black hole about four million times the mass of our sun, is at the center of the Milky Way. Because of its size, the gravitational effacts are extreme and can be detected by looking at the starts in it's vicinity. Oribiting Sgr A are a handful of starts locked in a cosmic dance with the invisible monster, and they're moviing at mind-melting speeds. 

Astronomers have just discovered the quickest object, clocking at about 8% the speed of light. Using instruments at the European Southern Obervatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile (very creative name), five new stars were added around the black hole. These results show evidence that a distinct population of stars orbit Sgr A* at distances comparable to the size of our solar system. 

But being so close to a supermassive black hole, they are privy to some extreme physics. Florian Peissker, an astronomer at the University of Cologne in Germany, and his team study the region of space close to the black hole. In January, they reported the star S62, which was orbiting the black hole once every 9.9 years, giving it the shortest orbital period, making it the fastest star to blitz the Sgr A*. 

Now, 9.9 years sounds like a really long time to orbit something we can't even see. But considering it takes 9.5 years to get to Pluto in our own solar system, only taking that long to orbit something thats massively bigger than our solar system must mean your going pretty darn fast. 

Space is cool huh? 

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