News Release Archive:

News Release 236 of 1051

December 5, 2011 09:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2011-39

Fastest Rotating Star Found in Neighboring Galaxy


Image: Formation of a Fast-Rotating Star

Formation of a Fast-Rotating StarSTScI-PRC2011-39b

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This diagram shows one theory for the creation of the fastest spinning star found to date. The more massive star was once a member of a binary pair. Its rapidly aging companion star evolves and expands, spilling material onto the less evolved star. The star robbed angular momentum from the donor star and spun up to a rotation speed of 1 million miles per hour. The donor star explodes as a supernova and propelled the surviving star away.

Image Type: Illustration

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


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