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Artist’s impression of the fastest rotating star (artist’s impression)

This is an artist's concept of the fastest rotating star found to date. The massive, bright young star, called VFTS 102 rotates at about two million kilometres per hour. Centrifugal force from this dizzying spin rate has flattened the star into an oblate shape, and spun off a disk of hot plasma, seen edge on in this view from a hypothetical planet. The star may have "spun up" by accreting material from a binary companion star. The rapidly evolving companion later exploded as a supernova. The whirling star lies 160 000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.


NASA/ESA and G. Bacon (STScI)

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About the Image

Release date:5 December 2011, 15:00
Related releases:eso1147
Size:3300 x 2550 px

About the Object

Name:VFTS 102
Type:• Local Universe : Star : Spectral Type : O
• X - Stars
• X - Illustrations

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