View Full Version : Discussion: Some Stars Take an Erratic Journey

2004-Oct-20, 04:25 PM
SUMMARY: Our Solar System takes a very consistent journey as it completes an orbit around the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, similar to the way our Earth goes around the Sun. But astronomers from the European Space Agency have used the Hipparcos space-based observatory to find stars which don't stay put in the galaxy. Instead, these rogue stars will travel on a more erratic path, perhaps given a kick by the denser leading edge of the Milky Way's spiral arms. These kinds of stars account for 20% of stars within 1000 light-years of the Sun, so it's a very common situation.

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2004-Oct-20, 04:28 PM
It is interesting that the same kind of kick that we get from Jupiter to move our spacecraft to the outer solar system can be applied by denser parts of the spiral arms to move stars. I was also interested that this is another article showing a valuable use for the data we will get from ESA's Gaia probe. Gaia will be one of the greatest astronomy tools ever built.

2004-Oct-20, 08:40 PM
I thought, from earlier discussions elsewhere (Iron Sun and others), that our sun was a "rogue" a traveler from elsewhere (Orion, or possibly traveling through some of the Orion constellation space, as I recall, wan't it Antiseb?). These folks are assuming a relatively static place in the flow of traffic that constitutes our arm of the galaxy, a somewhat different (though certainly more familiar, as my base astronomical learning came at a more archaic age) picture.