The Great Escape: Hypervelocity Stars in the Milky Way

Event Date: 
November 20, 2008
Juna Kollmeier, Carnegie Observatories

The most recently discovered population of stars in the Galaxy are the "Hypervelocity Stars"." These objects are shooting out of the Milky Way at such high speeds, they will escape the Galaxy's gravitational pull and will never return. How did they get their enormous velocities? What can we learn about the Milky Way's dark matter halo, star formation, and the supermassive black hole at the galactic center by studying them?

Speaker Bio: 
Dr. Juna Kollmeier is an astronomer of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Her research focuses on structure formation on a variety of physical scales including supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies and the material that connects and feeds galaxies -- the intergalactic medium.