Artist's View of Fastest Spinning Star VFTS 102

Artist's View of Fastest Spinning Star VFTS 102

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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-2011-39
Release Date: Dec 5, 2011
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

This is an artist's concept of the fastest rotating star found to date. The massive, bright young star, called VFTS 102, rotates at a million miles per hour, or 100 times faster than our Sun does. Centrifugal forces from this dizzying spin rate have flattened the star into an oblate shape and spun off a disk of hot plasma, seen edge on in this view from a hypothetical planet. The star may have "spun up" by accreting material from a binary companion star. The rapidly evolving companion later exploded as a supernova. The whirling star lies 160,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.

Artwork, Massive Stars, Neutron Stars, Pulsars, Stars, Supernovae


NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)