Proper Motions of the BN Object and the Radio Source I in Orion: Where and When Did the BN Object Become a Runaway Star?
We present absolute astrometry of the core of the Orion molecular cloud, made with Very Large Array archive data taken over the last two decades. Our analysis reveals that both the BN object and the radio source I have proper motions: the BN object has a proper motion of 12.6+/-0.6 mas yr-1 (corresponding to a velocity of 27+/-1 km s-1 at an adopted distance of 450 pc) to the northwest, while the radio source I has a proper motion of 5.6+/-0.7 mas yr-1 (corresponding to a velocity of 12+/-2 km s-1) to the southeast. The motion of the two sources is nearly antiparallel, diverging from a point in between them, where they were located about 500 years ago. These results suggest that the BN object and the radio source I were part of a multiple young stellar system that disintegrated in the recent past.