Astronomers Discover Massive Blue Star

Submitted by: madest 7 years ago in Science
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/07/21/massive-blue-supergiant-challenges-theory-of-how-big-a-star-can-be/

265 X the mass of the Sun & 10 million times the luminosity. Where"s your shades?
There are 49 comments:
Male 3,915
wow...that`s REALLY cool looking....
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Male 53
@Steelgrid More like Chuck Norris` 3rd testicle
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Male 2,700
ItsLance Armstrongs missing testicle!!!
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Male 440
I have just finished re-reading "A brief history of time". After years of discovery channel specials it seems a bit old fashioned and quaint but still a worthwhile read.
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Male 25
does anybody remember this, doesn`t really add up.
The Size of Our World
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Female 1,593
Pretty
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Male 5,194
>>The people who wrote that article clearly haven`t heard of VY Canis Majoris....

That overhyped gas-ball VY Canis Majoris is only about 20x solar mass. This one is 265x solar masses - close to the theoretical limit of about 300x.
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Male 6,693
Must be from Texas.
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Male 782
size matters!
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Male 2,592
neat stuff
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Male 1,182
what took em so long
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Male 183
VY Canis Majoris is around 30-40x the mass of the sun, where as this star is currently around 260x the mass of the sun. VY Canis Majoris is huge because it has a much lower density, and so its radius is about 2000x as wide as our sun.

R136a1 is thought to have been around 320x the mass of our sun, and even at the currently visible 260x, it is still way over what was thought to be the largest mass a star could get to of 150x. Beinging so massive, the gravitational force its gasses exert would be so great that it would have to be much more dense than VY Canis Majoris, and even our sun.

VY Canis Majoris is the largest in terms of dimension/radius, but R136a1 is by far the largest in terms of mass.
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Male 801
The people who wrote that article clearly haven`t heard of VY Canis Majoris....
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Male 183
@ScottSerious, The length of a star`s lifetime is directly linked to its size, the larger the star, the faster it uses its fuel and the shorter its lifetime. Small stars, like our own, live for billions of years, where as a one of this size would use all of its fuel in a few million years. As such, in the last million years it is thought to have used enough fuel to have reduced from 320x the mass of our sun to 260x, so in 160,000 it will have shrunk even more.

Also, as this star is outside our model of known stars and their lives, we do not know at what point the gravity of the star will overcome the pressure of the fusion reaction going on in its core - ie the point where it will explode. It is possible that it has already gone hyper-nova.
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Male 4,793
"How can they tell how dense it is from this far away? - Just wondering..."

its size versus its gravitational effects on surroundings, such as light.

is this bigger than VY CMa?
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Male 159
spectromogorfaffy
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Male 450
It`s funny to think that when we look at that star the image we`re seeing is 165,000 years old. It might not even exist anymore.
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Male 2,586
How can they tell how dense it is from this far away? - Just wondering...
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Male 25,416
Wow, theres more than meets the eye!
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Male 5,314
@humunaha, 165,000 years is nothing to a star. i`m sure it`s basically the same as we see it now.
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Male 38
"What about VY Canis Majoris?"
VY is 1800-2100 times the radius of the Sun, but only 15-25 solar masses. This newly found star is only about 30 solar radii, and obviously 265 solar masses. So even though this star is a whole lot smaller than VY Canis Majoris, it`s much more dense.
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Female 120
I like how they named their big telescope Very Large Telescope. I also LOL`d at the limerick news comment
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Male 9,305
Deadmeat I love you XD
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Male 8,300
Woah! 10 MILLION TIMES THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE SUN!!! That must be almost as bright as my a*s!
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Male 756
i like these space posts
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Female 5,222
:O
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Male 591
Not terribly impressed. I got one for my birthday.
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Male 8
alien spider, the Cepheid method of measuring the distance to stars only works for Cepheids, there are other much more complicated methods of measuring the distance to stars that are further than a 100LY away
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Female 305
Last statement of the article reminded me of the movie Pitch Black~
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Male 13
Well This Star IS 165,000 light years away, so.. We must take into consideration what could have happened to this star already... How big is it now? is it still there?
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Male 533
"@razlem - Please explain how this is contradicting existing laws of physics and Einstein`s theory."

It was a joke >.>
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Male 10,855
Holy Blue Balls that`s huge!
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Male 2,422
The universe never ceases to amaze.
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Male 149
0_0 OMG!!! THEY JUST DISCOVERED WHAT HAPPENED WHEN GOD LIT HIS FART ON FIRE!!!
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Male 7,839
awesome, i wish we lived by a blue star. obviously we would have to be a hell of a lot further away from it than we are from ours now.
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Male 192
@IkeRay - For stars 100LY away or less, they use a method called Parallax, which uses the orbit of the Earth around our own sun. By noting the position at multiple points during our orbit we are able to determine the exact distance.

For stars further than 100LY they use a method called Cepheid. You`ll need to google this one for a better explanation as it`s a lot more complicated, but it basically uses the different brightnesses of the star and its surrounding stars to determine the distance. Much more involved than that, though.
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Male 2,703
are they sure of its distance? couldn`t it just be poking through the nebula (be on the other side) and actually be comparable to a blue-dwarf?

how exactly do they calculate the distance the star is?
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Male 142
@razlem - Please explain how this is contradicting existing laws of physics and Einstein`s theory.
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Male 5,189
Stuff like this is always interesting.
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Male 931
@razlem
k. Just categorized them as `stars`
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Male 533
@The_Garuness

Mass is different than size.
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Male 2,440
This will be the biggest star for like... a little while. Just wait until the James Webb Space Telescope replaces Hubble in a few years. Holy crap will that be awesome!
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Male 533
@AlienPoison5

It makes me doubt our laws of physics and Einstein`s theories. Back to square one!
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Male 15,510
Sorry, I left my shades in my other solar system
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Male 9,305
Off topic: Thanks for the push of content in the evening, Fancy.

On topic: BIG BLUE STAR! Wooaahhhh! D:
We can has first contact nao!?
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Male 931
What about VY Canis Majoris?
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Male 4,014
God I love astrophysics.
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Male 192
It`ll end up being like the "biggest star ever discovered" found in the late 90`s and ten years later be identified as a cluster of tight orbiting stars. If not, then holy %^$#! I have read and watched a lot about the maximum mass a star was supposed to allowed to have before imploding in on itself in the past years... and this size breaks all of their rules. Makes you wonder just how many things we have wrong :P
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Male 7,378
Link: Astronomers Discover Massive Blue Star [Rate Link] - 265 X the mass of the Sun & 10 million times the luminosity. Where`s your shades?
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