Triple-star System Passes near Milky Way's Central Black Hole

Triple-star System Passes near Milky Way's Central Black Hole

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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-2010-19
Release Date: Jul 22, 2010
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

This illustration shows one possible mechanism for how the star HE 0437-5439 acquired enough energy to be ejected from our Milky Way galaxy.

In this scenario, a triple-star system, consisting of a close binary system and another outer member bound to the group, is orbiting near the galaxy's monster black hole. One star is captured by the black hole and the tightly bound pair gets ejected from the galaxy. As the duo speeds through the galaxy, one member evolves more quickly and consumes the other. The resulting rejuvenated star, massive and very blue, is called a blue straggler.


Tags
Hubble Telescope, Illustrations, Massive Stars, Stars

Credits

Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

Science Credit: NASA, ESA, O. Gnedin (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), and W. Brown (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.)