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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

Warren Brown, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory ()

"Black Holes and Hypervelocity Stars"

Abstract. A massive black hole sits in the heart of the Milky Way. Oneconsequence of the black hole is that it ejects "hypervelocity stars"from the Milky Way at ~1000 km/s velocities. We discovered the firsthypervelocity star in 2005, and since then our targeted survey hasdiscovered 14 more unbound stars. The distribution of hypervelocitystars, in space and in velocity, is linked to the black hole ejectionmechanism, and reveals the history of stars interacting with the blackhole. Measuring hypervelocity star trajectories may also place uniqueconstraints on the distribution of dark matter in the Galaxy.

Held in the AAO Conference room at 03:30 PM on Wednesday, 24 November 2010