Huge Star Discovered


POSTED: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 9:15am

UPDATED: Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 11:58pm

A European space telescope has found a large star hundreds of times the size of our sun.

In fact, this may be the largest star ever discovered.

It has a mass more than 265 times the size of the sun and is more than a million years old.

Astronomers found it in a galaxy about 165,000 light years from the Milky Way.

Experts say the star defies belief...

"Until recently people assumed that there was a fundamental upper limit to how massive a star could be and that upper limit was 150 times the mass of our own sun, which in itself is quite large. The sun is not an average star, the sun is almost 10 times more massive than an average star. And so the fact that we're doubling the accepted upper limit to how massive a star can be really is, poses more questions than it answers."

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More than a million years old? A mere newborn in stellar time. However, a star this large doesn't last long. It will burn through its hydrogen in about 10 million years before exploding into a Type II (core collapse) supernova. Fascinating!

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