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Fastest unbound star

29/02/2016


Dr Rubina Kotak, from the Astrophysics Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, is part of a team that for the first time has has tracked down a star thrown out of our Milky Way Galaxy by a Supernova explosion. She said: “It is very exciting to have contributed to this important discovery which is a great example of Queen’s commitment to achieving excellence and advancing knowledge for the benefit of society. It brings us a step closer to solving the type Ia puzzle.”

European Southern Observatory fellow, Stephan Geier, who led the study, said: “Several types of stars have been suspected of causing the explosion of a white dwarf as supernova of type Ia. Until now, none of them could be confirmed. Now we have found a delinquent on the run bearing traces from the crime scene.”

Queen’s University Belfast is a full member of the PS1 science consortium, which carried out this research involving astronomers from ten other institutes dotted across the world. The research was led by Dr Stephan Geier, European Southern Observatory fellow, and comprised contributions from scientists from a number of countries including Germany, USA, the Netherlands, China and the UK.

Read the full research article: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6226/1126

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