Tags: westerlund 1-26 | largest | stars

Westerlund 1-26 May Be One of the Largest Stars in the Universe

Image: Westerlund 1-26 May Be One of the Largest Stars in the Universe

Westerlund 1 with the inset showing W1-26 and the associated ionised hydrogen cloud VLT Survey Telescope image of Westerlund 1. (Wikimedia Commons)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017 03:29 PM

A red hypergiant star known as Westerlund 1-26 may be one of the largest stars in the known universe, with a radius 1,500 times bigger than our sun.

The Westerlund star cluster is one of the most distant that telescopes have been able to find, according to the International Business Times. Westerlund 1-26 is 15,000 light-years from Earth and on the edge of its star cluster.

If Westerlund 1-26 were placed where our sun is, it would extend out past Jupiter, IB Times said.

The star was discovered in 1961, but images were recently captured by the Hubble telescope to reveal more information about the distant red hypergiant.

Westerlund 1-26 is thought to be only 3 million years old, more than a thousand times younger than our own sun, according to the Christian Science Monitor. It is also more luminous because of its size.

Recent images show an ionized nebula around the star, which suggests it might have events called “supernova imposters” during which it blows off some of its outer shell due to the balance of radiation these stars must maintain.

Only a few stars discovered have been larger than Westerlund 1-26. UY Scuti, which is about 9,500 light-years away; WHO G64, about 168,000 light-years away in the Magellanic Cloud; and RW Cephei, which is about 11,500 light-years away, are all considered larger, although determining star size is far from an exact science at this point, the IB Times said.

Luminosity can also be determined by brightness or heat, or both.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
A red hypergiant star known as Westerlund 1-26 may be one of the largest stars in the known universe, with a radius 1,500 times bigger than our sun.
westerlund 1-26, largest, stars
254
2017-29-14
Tuesday, 14 Mar 2017 03:29 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved