Warren Brown, Smithsonian Astrophyiscal Observatory

Topic: "Hypervelocity Stars"  (Video)

Abstract: A massive black hole sits in the heart of the Milky Way. Most stars are found in multiple systems. A consequence of these two facts are "hypervelocity stars" ejected from the Milky Way at million mph velocities. I discovered the first hypervelocity star in 2005, and since then have found more than 20 unbound hypervelocity stars in a targeted survey. Recent results include new evidence for their origin, an unexplained spatial distribution on the sky, and Hubble Space Telescope proper motion measurements that may allow us constrain the shape and orientation of the Galactic potential.