From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Twinkle, Twinkle, Humongous Star

Westerlund 1-26    (Image by Lithopsian)
Here on Earth, superstars need spotlights in order to shine.  Out there in space, super stars are luminous all on their own.

Westerlund 1-26 is a sterling example of the latter. This recently-imaged super star is “only” about 15,000 light years away.  Its radius is “over 1,500 times that of the sun,” making it “among the biggest stars ever observed in the known universe.”

How bright is it?  This red hypergiant is approximately 380,000 times more luminous than our own star.  No amount of sunscreen is going to fix that.

Nevertheless, Big W has fierce competition elsewhere in the universe.  The three leading contenders are UY Scuti, WHO G64 and RW Cephi.  Which leads to one pressing question:  Who names this stuff?     


Copyright March 14, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment