National Geographic News
March 23, 2012
If you think life on Earth moves too fast, imagine being perched on a planet that’s hurtling through space 400 times faster than our home world.
According to a new study, astronomers predict that “hypervelocity planets” are streaking through our Milky Way galaxy at up to 30 million miles (48 million kilometers) an hour—flung from the center of our galaxy by so-called gravitational slingshots.
Only subatomic particles such as cosmic rays are known to reach higher speeds in the Milky Way. (Related: “Lightning Creates Particle Accelerators Above Earth.”)