Hyperfast star was booted from Milky Way

first_imgA hundred million years ago, a triple-star system was traveling through the bustling center of our Milky Way galaxy when it made a life-changing misstep.  The trio wandered too close to the galaxy’s giant black hole, which captured one of the stars and hurled the other two out of the Milky Way.  Adding to the stellar game of musical chairs, the two outbound stars merged to form a super-hot blue star.This story may seem like science fiction, but Harvard astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope say it is the most likely scenario for a so-called hypervelocity star, known as HE 0437-5439, one of the fastest ever detected.  It’s blazing across space at a speed of 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) an hour, three times faster than our Sun’s orbital velocity in the Milky Way.Hubble observations now confirm that the stellar speedster hails from the Milky Way’s core, settling some confusion over where it originally called home.  The findings have been published online in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.Most of the roughly 16 known hypervelocity stars, all discovered since 2005, are thought to be exiles from the heart of our galaxy.  But this Hubble result is the first direct observation linking a high-flying star to a galactic center origin.“Using Hubble, we can for the first time trace back to where the star comes from by measuring the star’s direction of motion on the sky.  Its motion points directly from the Milky Way center,” says astronomer Warren Brown of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., a member of the Hubble team that observed the star and the paper’s lead author.  “These exiled stars are rare in the Milky Way’s population of 100 billion stars.  For every 100 million stars in the galaxy lurks one hypervelocity star.”The movements of these unbound stars could reveal the shape of the dark matter distribution surrounding our galaxy.   “Studying these stars could provide more clues about the nature of some of the universe’s unseen mass, and it could help astronomers better understand how galaxies form,” says team leader Oleg Gnedin of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Dark matter’s gravitational pull is measured by the shape of the hyperfast stars’ trajectories out of the Milky Way.”The stellar outcast is already cruising in the Milky Way’s distant outskirts, high above the galaxy’s disk, about 200,000 light-years from the center.  By comparison, the diameter of the Milky Way’s disk is approximately 100,000 light-years.  Using Hubble to measure the runaway star’s direction of motion and determine the Milky Way’s core as its starting point, Brown and Gnedin’s team calculated how fast the star had to have been ejected to reach its current location.“The star is traveling at an absurd velocity, twice as much as the star needs to escape the galaxy’s gravitational field,” explains Brown, a hypervelocity star hunter who found the first unbound star in 2005.  “There is no star that travels that quickly under normal circumstances – something exotic has to happen.”There’s another twist to this story.  Based on the speed and position of HE 0437-5439, the star would have to be 100 million years old to have journeyed from the Milky Way’s core. Yet its mass – nine times that of our Sun – and blue color mean that it should have burned out after only 20 million years – far shorter than the transit time it took to get to its current location.  The most likely explanation for the star’s blue color and extreme speed is that it was part of a triple-star system that was involved in a gravitational billiard-ball game with the galaxy’s monster black hole.  This concept for imparting an escape velocity on stars was first proposed in 1988.  The theory predicted that the Milky Way’s black hole should eject a star about once every 100,000 years.Brown suggests that the triple-star system contained a pair of closely orbiting stars and a third outer member also gravitationally tied to the group.  The black hole pulled the outer star away from the tight binary system.  The doomed star’s momentum was transferred to the stellar twosome, boosting the duo to escape velocity from the galaxy.  As the pair rocketed away, they went on with normal stellar evolution.  The more massive companion evolved more quickly, puffing up to become a red giant.  It enveloped its partner, and the two stars spiraled together, merging into one superstar – a blue straggler.“While the blue straggler story may seem odd, you do see them in the Milky Way, and most stars are in multiple systems,” Brown says.This vagabond star has puzzled astronomers since its discovery in 2005 by the Hamburg/European Southern Observatory sky survey.  Astronomers had proposed two possibilities to solve the age problem. The star either dipped into the Fountain of Youth by becoming a blue straggler, or it was flung out of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy.In 2008 a team of astronomers thought they had solved the mystery.  They found a match between the exiled star’s chemical makeup and the characteristics of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud.  The rogue star’s position also is close to the neighboring galaxy, only 65,000 light-years away.The new Hubble result settles the debate over the star’s birthplace.  Astronomers used the sharp vision of Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys to make two separate observations of the wayward star 3 1/2 years apart.  Team member Jay Anderson of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., developed a technique to measure the star’s position relative to each of 11 distant background galaxies, which form a reference frame.The team is trying to determine the homes of four other unbound stars, all located on the fringes of the Milky Way.“We are targeting massive ‘B’ stars, like HE 0437-5439,” says Brown, who has discovered 14 of the 16 known hypervelocity stars.  “These stars shouldn’t live long enough to reach the distant outskirts of the Milky Way, so we shouldn’t expect to find them there.  The density of stars in the outer region is much less than in the core, so we have a better chance to find these unusual objects.”– Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics –last_img read more

Closing the awareness gap and communicating the credit union difference

first_img“Credit unions are small and less secure than banks.” Credit unions do not have the federal insurance that banks do, which has caused misconceptions among consumers about credit unions for some time. Deposits with credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which offers the same type of coverage that banks have. Credit unions are held to the same regulations as banks and often times face more restrictions on their investments and loans. Through education and awareness, the goal is to help debunk misconceptions about credit unions for non-credit union members and to shed light on the truth about the credit union difference. Credit unions can take part in the effort to “close the gap” through every interaction with members and non-members alike.The entire webinar was recorded and is available for viewing by all registered subscribers of Engagement Builder at engage.pscu.com. “Credit unions have limited ATMs and branches, which translates into limited access to money.” Credit unions are cooperative in nature, meaning they work together to provide the best options for all members. Credit union members have access to shared banking networks without incurring fees and can utilize sister credit unions to perform banking activities at other locations. The options are not limited, just simply different from those offered by a traditional bank. “Credit unions are primarily for people in need.” Contrary to this belief, anyone can join a credit union. As mentioned above, each credit union has a commonality between its members. However, this does not mean that members have to be in need of financial, medical or professional support. center_img 158SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Duane Hogg Duane Hogg is a digital strategist and credit union storyteller, creating content that compels Millennials to not only think but also act. In addition to content marketing for the Make … Web: www.pscu.com Details One-third of all U.S. citizens are currently members of a credit union. However, most have little to no idea what a credit union actually is and cannot correctly articulate how a credit union differs from a bank. For non-members, the lack of awareness is more acute.CUNA recently launched a Consumer Awareness Initiative to conduct nationwide research and help the industry create top of mind consumer awareness of and belief in credit unions as the best option in financial services. Myles Bristowe, vice president of marketing strategy and leader of Engagement Builder for PSCU, was invited to sit on the Consumer Awareness Advisory Group made up of a diverse cross-section of marketing leaders from various sectors of the credit union system.  The findings from the consumer research revealed a number of surprises and glaring inconsistencies in the way credit unions have been positioning themselves. These findings undoubtedly contribute to the sub-10 percent market share numbers credit unions are working to improve, despite having over 110 million U.S. members.On March 8, 2017, the Engagement Builder team hosted a webinar to share the provocative findings of the research with special guest speakers, Douglas Kiker, chief strategic communications officer for CUNA, and Graeme Trayner, vice president of the Brands and Communications practice at Greenberg, Quinlan and Rosner. Over 400 credit union leaders and marketers participate in the webinar.The research findings shared during the webinar revealed that credit unions are widely trusted by consumers and are best known for good rates, especially on car loans. However, there are several “myths” that consumers believe about credit unions:“I am not eligible to join a credit union.” The biggest difference between banks and credit unions is that a credit union serves a specific group of people or community. Criteria can include where someone lives, their profession, college affiliation or religious beliefs. With so many credit unions available today, non-members need to understand that eligibility guidelines are much broader than they might think. Consumers should conduct their own research to find a credit union that would be the best fit for their needs. last_img read more

Delray Beach 15 year-old Coco Gauff Loses in Round of 16 at Wimbledon

first_imgFifteen-year-old American Coco Gauff of Delray Beach has lost in the round of 16 at Wimbledon. She was up against number seven seed, Simona Halep. Fifteen-year-old American Coco Gauff [[ Goff ]] is now playing her round-of-16 match today at Wimbledon. She’s up against number seven seed, Simona Halep. No one that young has made it this far in the tournament since Jennifer Capriati in 1991. Gauff lost in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 No one that young has made it this far in the tournament since Jennifer Capriati in 1991.last_img

The Holiday Season at The Gift Gallery LLC

first_imgFacebook21Tweet0Pin1 The Gift Gallery in Tumwater will have holiday specials starting Black Friday and running through December.Thanksgiving is upon us and already the stores are displaying their Christmas spirit with trees and decorations. The Gift Gallery LLC in Tumwater is no exception. We have a wonderful tradition here in our store each year. We put up our Christmas tree just like everyone else….almost. Our tree however is unlike any you will find in another store. Our tree is unique in itself. How you ask? Our tree is filled with hand-crafted quality ornaments made special by our vendors! This is a neat tradition our customers have come to know and love. With our hand-crafted ornaments we provide not only something unique and fun for your tree, but also something made of quality and from the heart. Be sure to stop in and see which ornaments you will want for your home!During the month of November you can earn a $5 coupon to use for a later purchase. Simply find the “pumpkins” stamp and with your purchase you will receive a $5 Coupon! Great time to save while you’re beginning your holiday shopping.**We will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26th.Join us for Black Friday on November 27. Enjoy our “Early Bird Special” of 20% off your total purchase from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  From 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. enjoy 10 % off your total purchase.Small Business Saturday, on November 28, The Gift Gallery will offer all shoppers 10% off your total purchase all day long.Handmade goods, mixed with commercial wares, can be found at The Gift Gallery.Coming in December:Gift drawings will be held every Saturday in December! Enter in store for your chance to win. Prizes will include commercial items as well as hand-crafted items donated by our vendors.The Gift Gallery LLC will be open every Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. starting November 29 and all through December. Regular hours of Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. will remain the same.Follow The Gift Gallery LLC on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. The Gift Gallery LLC5113 Capitol Blvd SE, Olympia, WA 98501360-491-4917 Submitted by Kaylene Fischer for The Gift Gallery LLClast_img read more