VFTS 102

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VFTS 102
Artist’s impression of the fastest rotating star.jpg
Artistic depiction of VFTS 102
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Dorado
Right ascension  05h 37m 39.248s[1]
Declination −69° 09′ 51.04″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 15.806[2]
Evolutionary stage Main sequence
Spectral type O9:Vnnne[3]
U−B color index −0.879[2]
B−V color index +0.293[2]
Radial velocity (Rv)228[3] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: 7.3[1] mas/yr
Dec.: 2.1[1] mas/yr
Distance164,000 ly
(50,000 pc)
Mass~ 25 M
Luminosity100,000 L
Surface gravity (log g)3.6 ± 0.5 cgs
Temperature36,000 ± 5000 K
Rotational velocity (v sin i)600±100 km/s
Other designations
2MASS J05373924-6909510
Database references
The position of VFTS 102 in Tarantula nebula.

VFTS 102 is a star located in the Tarantula nebula, a star forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way.

The peculiarity of this star is its projected equatorial velocity of ~600 km/s (about 2.000.000 km/h), making it the fastest rotating massive star known.[4] The resulting centrifugal force tends to flatten the star; material can be lost in the loosely bound equatorial regions, allowing for the formation of a disk. The spectroscopic observations seem to confirm this, and the star is classified as Oe, possibly due to emission from such an equatorial disk of gas.

This star was observed by the VLT Flames Tarantula Survey collaboration using the VLT, Very Large Telescope in Chile. One member of this team is Matteo Cantiello, an Italian astrophysicist who emigrated to the United States and is currently working at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at University of California Santa Barbara. In 2007, together with a few collaborators, he predicted the existence of massive stars with properties very similar to VFTS 102. In its theoretical model, the extreme rotational speed is caused by the transfer of material from a companion star in a binary system. After this "cosmic dance", the donor star is predicted to explode as a supernova. The spun-up companion instead is likely to be launched out of the orbit and move away from its stellar neighbors at high speed. Such a star is called a runaway. VFTS 102 fits this theoretical model very well, being found to be a rapidly rotating runaway star and lying close to a pulsar and a supernova remnant. Other scenarios, like a dynamical ejection from the core of the star cluster R136, are also possible.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Cutri, R. M.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Van Dyk, S.; Beichman, C. A.; Carpenter, J. M.; Chester, T.; Cambresy, L.; Evans, T.; Fowler, J.; Gizis, J.; Howard, E.; Huchra, J.; Jarrett, T.; Kopan, E. L.; Kirkpatrick, J. D.; Light, R. M.; Marsh, K. A.; McCallon, H.; Schneider, S.; Stiening, R.; Sykes, M.; Weinberg, M.; Wheaton, W. A.; Wheelock, S.; Zacarias, N. (2003). "VizieR Online Data Catalog: 2MASS All-Sky Catalog of Point Sources (Cutri+ 2003)". VizieR On-line Data Catalog: II/246. Originally published in: 2003yCat.2246....0C. 2246. Bibcode:2003yCat.2246....0C.
  2. ^ a b c Bonanos, A. Z.; Massa, D. L.; Sewilo, M.; Lennon, D. J.; Panagia, N.; Smith, L. J.; Meixner, M.; Babler, B. L.; Bracker, S.; Meade, M. R.; Gordon, K. D.; Hora, J. L.; Indebetouw, R.; Whitney, B. A. (2009). "Spitzer SAGE Infrared Photometry of Massive Stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud". The Astronomical Journal. 138 (4): 1003. arXiv:0905.1328. Bibcode:2009AJ....138.1003B. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/138/4/1003.
  3. ^ a b c Dufton, P. L.; Dunstall, P. R.; Evans, C. J.; Brott, I.; Cantiello, M.; De Koter, A.; De Mink, S. E.; Fraser, M.; Hénault-Brunet, V.; Howarth, I. D.; Langer, N.; Lennon, D. J.; Markova, N.; Sana, H.; Taylor, W. D. (2011). "The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey: The Fastest Rotating O-type Star and Shortest Period LMC Pulsar—Remnants of a Supernova Disrupted Binary?". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 743: L22. arXiv:1111.0157. Bibcode:2011ApJ...743L..22D. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/743/1/L22.
  4. ^ Jiang, Dengkai; Han, Zhanwen; Yang, Liheng; Li, Lifang (2013). "The binary merger channel for the progenitor of the fastest rotating O-type star VFTS 102". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 428 (2): 1218. arXiv:1302.6296. Bibcode:2013MNRAS.428.1218J. doi:10.1093/mnras/sts105.
  5. ^ Cantiello, M.; Yoon, S.-C.; Langer, N.; Livio, M. (2007). "Binary star progenitors of long gamma-ray bursts". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 465 (2): L29. arXiv:astro-ph/0702540. Bibcode:2007A&A...465L..29C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20077115.

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