What is the Biggest Star in the Universe

VY Canis Majoris

Jérôme-Lalande

Jérôme Lalande

The largest star that we know of is called VY Canis Majoris it’s a long way from Earth between 3,900 and 5,000 light years.

It’s so big if it was the Sun in our solar system its surface would extend past Jupiter.

The French astronomer Jérôme Lalande is believed to be the person who discovered the star back in 1801

 

How about size

I think we first need to get a sense of size so we can really understand how big this star is.

Our Sun is 870,000 miles across (or 1.4 million km). We could probaly fit the Earth inside the Sun 1 million times.

The biggest star VY Canis Majoris is so big the Sun would fit inside this about 2100 times

Traveling

If you where to fly a plane around the world it would take about 40-50 hours (depending on fuel stops etc)

Now, if you where to fly around the biggest star it’s believed it could take 1100 years!!

Temperature

Roberta Humphreys from the University of Minnesota estimate’s that the temperature on this supergiant star is about 3,500 Kelvin.

There are other stars even hotter maybe 25,000 Kelvin but it’s hard to work out their size simply because these hypergiant stars eject huge amounts of gas during outbursts. So this makes it hard to know the exact size.

Are There Bigger Star’s?

This is a good question because there are so many galaxies and billion planets. VY Canis Majoris is the largest known star and is light years away. Astronomy is a wonderful topic and we have so much yet to discover.

Below is a video that shows diameter, distance of the planets we know compared to VY Canis Majoris (VY CMa) you really get a sense of the mass.

About

Colm Byrne setup Planets for kids with his son Stephen (aged 9) in 2011. He now loves writing about astronomy and space exploration in between been a taxi driver for the kids !!!

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