Astronomers have determined the weight of the largest star in the universe

(ORDO NEWS) — A team of astronomers have studied the largest known star, R136a1, which is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and has a mass of 150-200 Suns. It is reported by arXiv.

Scientists observed the star cluster R136 in the LMC at a distance of 150,000 light-years from Earth using the Gemini Observatory telescope.

Thus, the researchers were able to obtain the clearest images of the cluster to date. This helped to see individual stars in the central core of R136 and more accurately determine their properties.

After that, experts measured the weight of some of the brightest stars in the cluster, including R136a1, whose mass was significantly less than the previous figures of 250-320 solar masses.

Despite this, R136a1 still has a surface temperature eight times that of the Sun, and the radius of this star is 40 times larger, making it one of the largest in the universe.

The results of the research are considered a reference point for determining the upper limit of the mass of the largest stars, which is of decisive importance for understanding the mechanisms of their formation.

Until now, it is not clear to astronomers how giant stars appear, since most of them are located in the centers of dense clusters, and their lifetime is relatively short and is only 2-3 million years compared to 10 billion years for solar-type stars.


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