Astronomers have long known that when binary star systems wander too close to a supermassive black hole under the right conditions, they can be torn apart in such a way that one star is pulled into orbit around the black hole and the other is violently ejected outward, sending it speeding out of the galaxy and into interstellar space. Now it turns out individual planets can suffer a similar fate–and when they do, they can do so at up to 30 million miles per hour, making them some of the fastest-moving objects in our galaxy.
These hypervelocity planets are the fastest moving objects leaving our galaxy with the exception of subatomic particles. Typically they would be traveling 7 to 10 million miles per hour, but under certain conditions they might be spun out of the galaxy at much higher rates of speed.
As fast as this seems, this speed is only 4% the speed of light.
Learn more here.
[Via Popular Science]