A star orbits the Milky Way’s black hole at 18 million miles per hour

A star orbits the Milky Way's black hole at 18 million miles per hour
Written by admin

A newly discovered star, now designated S4716, is traveling around a black hole in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, at a speed of 5,000 miles (8,000 km) per second. Report.

The vast expanse of our universe means that astronomers always find something they have never seen before. Earlier this week, astronomers observed Two bus-sized asteroids Towards Earth, which will move a quarter of the distance to separate the moon from us.

In addition to asteroids, our galaxy is also of particular interest to astronomers who are looking for signs of other planets that support life. Although right in the center of the Milky Way, there is a supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A * or Sgr A * and S4716 is orbiting this black hole at breakneck speed.

What we know about S4716

From the observations made so far, we know that at 5,000 miles (8,000 km) per second or 18 million miles (29 million km) per hour, S4716 is the fastest star orbiting Sgr A *. It completes an orbit around a diameter of 14.6 million (23.5 million km) Black hole In just four years.

S4716 is part of a dense group of other stars that orbit Sgr A * in what astronomers refer to as the S cluster. All the stars in this cluster move at high speeds but vary in their mass and brightness. Another star in this cluster, known as the S2, is more popular and much larger than the S4716.

However, it takes 16 years for S2 to orbit around a black hole and it comes close to 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from Sgr A *. By comparison, the S4716 comes close to 9.2 billion miles (150 million km) of black holes, about 100 times the distance between Earth and the Sun.

The discovery of a star so close to a black hole could change our understanding of the galaxy and its rapidly evolving star. “The short-lived, compact orbit of the S4716 is quite confusing,” said Michael Zazachek, an astrophysicist at the University of Massachusetts. Statement “They Black holes cannot be formed so easily. The S4716 had to move inward, for example, to other stars and objects in the S cluster, causing its orbit to be significantly narrowed. “

How did astronomers find the fastest star?

Although S2 has helped us to understand more about Sgr A *, it also has its drawbacks. “The S2 behaves like a big man sitting in front of you in a movie theater – blocking your vision of what’s important. The center view of our galaxy is often obscured by S2,Says Florian Piskar, an astrophysicist at the University of Cologne who was involved in the study, said in a statement.

Use data from Peissker and his team Five telescopes, NIR2 and OSIRIS, at the Cake Observatory in Hawaii, and SINFONI, NACO, and GRAVITY have refined their analytical techniques over more than two decades to ensure the orbital duration of very large telescopes and the S4716. “It was completely unexpected for a star to be so close and quickly in a stable orbit around a supermassive black hole,” Pisker added.

The study was published Astrophysical Journal.


Ongoing observations of the Galactic Center and Sgr A *, the central supermassive black hole, produce surprising and unexpected results. This has been accompanied by the technological evolution of ground- and space-based telescopes and instruments, but also with the advancement of image filtering techniques such as the Lucy-Richardson algorithm. As we continue to trace members of the S cluster near Sgr A * in their expected orbits around supermassive black holes, we present the search for a new stellar source, which we call S4716. The newly found star orbits Sgr A * in about 4.0 years and can be detected with NIRC2 (Keck), OSIRIS (Keck), SINFONI (VLT), NACO (VLT), and GRAVITY (VLTI). With a periapse distance of about 100 au, S4716 shows the equivalent distance to Sgr A * as S4711. S4711 – S4716 These fast moving stars undergo similar dynamic evolution due to sharing comparable orbital properties. We will also look for a new faint star called S300 and draw a connection between the data presented here. In addition, we observed a mixed-star event in 2017 with the S4716 and another newly identified S star S148

About the author


Leave a Comment