Hubble Captures Runaway Star Speeding from Its Birthplace

About this video
Duration: 5 seconds

This video reveals the motion of a newly discovered runaway star in the Orion Nebula.

The images in the two frames were taken 17 years apart by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The first image was taken in 1998 by Hubble's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer; the second, in 2015 by the Wide Field Camera 3. The bright object at the bottom right of both frames is a foreground star.

The speedy star, called "source x," is moving at roughly 130,000 miles per hour. The star was a member of a multiple-star system that was propelled from its birthplace 500 years ago. The system members engaged in a gravitational tussle that resulted in the breakup of the grouping. Source x and at least two other stars were ejected in different directions.

GIF, HD Video, Multiple Star Systems, Scientific Visualizations, Stars


NASA, ESA, and K. Luhman (Penn State University)

Production: March 16, 2017

Publication: March 17, 2017

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