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Fastest Rotating Star Found in Neighboring Galaxy

NASA image release December 5, 2011


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.


The team will use NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to make precise measurements of the star's proper motion across space.


To read more go to: hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/39/full/


Image Type: Artwork


Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)


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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.


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Taken on November 29, 2011