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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