Candidate Hypervelocity Red Clump Stars in the Galactic Bulge Found Using the VVV and Gaia Surveys

Alonso Luna, Dante Minniti, Javier Alonso-García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We propose a new way to search for hypervelocity stars (HVS) in the Galactic bulge, by using red clump (RC) giants, that are good distance indicators. The second Gaia Data Release and the near-IR data from the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) Survey led to the selection of a volume limited sample of 34 bulge RC stars. A search in this combined data set leads to the discovery of seven candidate hypervelocity red clump stars in the Milky Way bulge. Based on this search we estimate the total production rate of hypervelocity RC stars from the central supermassive black hole (SMBH) to be N HVRC = 3.26 × 10-4 yr-1. This opens up the possibility of finding larger samples of HVS in the Galactic bulge using future surveys, closer to their main production site, if they originated from interactions of binaries with the central SMBH.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL39
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume887
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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