From Universe Today: “Gaia Finds Six Stars Zipping out of the Milky Way” an Introduction

universe-today

Universe Today

7 July , 2017
Matt Williams

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An artist’s conception of a hypervelocity star that has escaped the Milky Way. Image Credit: NASA

In 2013, the European Space Agency launched the Gaia spacecraft.

ESA/GAIA satellite

As the successor to the Hipparcos mission, this space observatory has spent the past three and a half years gathering data on the cosmos.

Before it retires sometime next year (though the mission could be extended), this information will be used to construct the largest and most precise 3D astronomical map ever created.

In the course of surveying the cosmos, Gaia has also revealed some very interesting things along the way. For example, after examining the Gaia catalog with a specially-designed artificial neural network, a team of European researchers recently detected six new hypervelocity stars in the Milky Way. And one of these stars is moving so fast that it may eventually leave our galaxy.

Their study – titled An Artificial Neural Network to Discover Hypervelocity Stars: Candidates in Gaia DR1/TGAS – was recently published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. It was presented late last month at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science, which was being held from June 26th to June 30th in Prague, Czech Republic.

See the full article here .

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