Warren Brown, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

TITLE: Black Holes and Hypervelocity Stars

ABSTRACT: A massive black hole sits in the heart of the Milky Way. One consequence of the black hole is that it ejects "hypervelocity stars" from the Milky Way at ~1000 km/s velocities. We discovered the first hypervelocity star in 2005, and since then our targeted survey has discovered 14 more unbound stars. The distribution of hypervelocity stars, in space and in velocity, is linked to the black hole ejection mechanism, and reveals the history of stars interacting with the black hole. Measuring hypervelocity star trajectories may also place unique constraints on the distribution of dark matter in the Galaxy.