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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Most Distant Star

stars at the edge of the galaxy

Far Out: The Most Distant Star in the Milky Way

A star 890,000 light-years away patrols our galactic frontier

FAINT AND FAR: Lying 890,000 light-years from Earth, the ruddy star at center is the most distant object ever seen in our galaxy. 

Credit: Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Just as every planet in the solar system orbits the sun, so every star in the Milky Way orbits the big black hole at our galaxy's center. But how far out does the Milky Way extend? Astronomers are closer to answering that question with the discovery of two remote giant stars. "They're the most distant stars that we've ever seen in our Milky Way," says John Bochanski of Haverford College, the astronomer who found them. The two stars probe an unexplored region of space and should help gauge our galaxy's total mass, which is poorly known./.../

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