Li Guangwei, an astronomer and associate researcher of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academic of Sciences, has recently published a study in the Astrophysical Journal Letters saying that he discovered the fastest rotating star form the Milky Way.
Located in Xinglong, in northern China’s Hebei Province, the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) was the instrument that helped the Chines astronomer to observe the speedy star, so they gave the telescope’s name to the star: LAMOST 040643.69+542347.8. Good luck with remembering what comes after LAMOST!
LAMOST, aka Guo Shoujing Telescope, is a famous quasi-meridian that helped to form the most extensive databank of stellar spectra in the world. Spectra are celestial bodies’ conditions that help scientists evaluate their chemical compositions, densities, atmospheres, and magnetism.
About the fastest star in the Universe
LAMOST J040643.69+542347.8 might have an impossible name to remember, but it has other assets. First, the speed at which it rotates: 540 km per second. It broke HD 191423’s record by 100 kilometers per hour. The temperatures are also very high, and what’s more, the poles temperatures are higher than the equators’ – Gravity too. J040643.69+542347.8 sure is a weirdo.
How could it not be a weirdo when its former companion was a supernova that exploded? LAMOST J040643.69+542347.8 is believed to be a part of an ex binary system. When the central star died as a supernova in the explosion, it became a nomad traveling at 120 km per second. This is how it ended up at about 30,000 light-years away from the Sun.
It’s a sad story, and not many stars can survive it. The fastest star in the Universe changed due to the velocity that makes it spin like crazy. It has an oblate shape with the equatorial radius longer than the polar radius. This is why the gravity is higher at the poles. It teaches us not to judge weirdness. There s always a story behind every cover.