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Planet Starship: Runaway Planets Zoom at a Fraction of Light-Speed

Planet Starship: Runaway Planets Zoom at a Fraction of Light-Speed
New research shows that not only do runaway planets exist, but some of them zoom through space at a few percent of the speed of light - up to 30 million miles per hour. (Image credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA))

In this artist’s conception, a runaway planet zooms through interstellar space. New research suggests that the supermassive black hole at our galaxy’s center can fling planets outward at relativistic speeds. Eventually, such worlds will escape the Milky Way and travel through the lonely intergalactic void. In this illustration, a glowing volcano on the planet’s surface hints at active plate tectonics that may keep the planet warm.

Space.com Staff
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