Epoch J2000,0 Equinox J2000,0
|Right ascension||04h 55m 10.49s|
|Declination||−68° 20′ 29.08″|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||18.46|
|Apparent magnitude (K)||6.85|
|Radial velocity (Rv)||~300 km/s|
|Absolute magnitude (MV)||-8.9|
|Mass||~16-22 M☉|
|Radius||1,540 - 1,730 R☉|
|Surface gravity (log g)||0.5 cgs|
WOH G64, 2MASS J04551048-6820298
WOH G64 is a red hypergiant star in the southern constellation of Dorado in the neighboring galaxy Large Magellanic Cloud, 168,000 light years away from Earth. It is one of the largest known stars, with the radius 1,540 times that of the Sun, or about 1.07 billion kilometres (7.14 AU), corresponding to a volume some 3.65 billion times bigger than the Sun. If placed at the center of the Solar System, the star's surface can engulf Jupiter.
Being one of the most luminous cool hypergiant stars in the LMC, WOH G64 exhibits all of the characteristics of a hypergiant. The strong mass loss of the star creates a torus-shaped cloud roughly a light year in diameter. and has a mass of 3 solar masses. The cloud may have been produced by massive outbursts of the star a few million years ago, similar to Eta Carinae's Homunculus Nebula. WOH G64's location within the outskirts of the LMC suggests that this star does not directly interact with its interstellar environment.
The star was discovered in the 1970's by Westerlund, Olander and Hedin. Like NML Cygni, the "WOH" in the star's name comes from the names of these three discoverers. Westerlund also discovered earlier a notable supergiant star, namely Westerlund 1-26, found in the massive super star cluster Westerlund 1 in the constellation Ara, which also has the same size and characteristics as that of WOH G64.
The combination of the star's temperature and luminosity places it at the upper right corner of the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. The star's evolutionary stage tells that it can no longer hold on itself by gravity due to low density. The intervening dust clouds makes the study of the star very difficult. It may be even possible that it has a bright hot companion, however no such one was found so far.
- Levesque, E. M.; Massey, P.; Plez, B.; Olsen, K. A. G. (2009). "The Physical Properties of the Red Supergiant Woh G64: The Largest Star Known?". The Astronomical Journal 137 (6): 4744. arXiv:0903.2260. Bibcode:2009AJ....137.4744L. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/137/6/4744.
- Ohnaka, K.; Driebe, T.; Hofmann, K. H.; Weigelt, G.; Wittkowski, M. (2009). "Resolving the dusty torus and the mystery surrounding LMC red supergiant WOH G64". Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 4: 454. doi:10.1017/S1743921308028858.
- Westerlund, B. E.; Olander, N.; Hedin, B. (1981). "Supergiant and giant M type stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud". Astronomy & Astrophysics Suppl. Ser. 43: 267–295. Bibcode:1981A&AS...43..267W.
- Levesque, E. M. "WOH G64: The Largest Star Known?". Astronomical Journal. arXiv:0903.2260. Bibcode:2009AJ....137.4744L. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/137/6/4744.
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