List of largest stars
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(Redirected from List of largest known stars)
Not to be confused with List of most massive stars.
The exact order of this list is not complete, nor is it perfectly defined:
- There are sometimes high uncertainties in derived values and sizes;
- The distances to most of these stars are uncertain to differing degrees and this uncertainty affects the size measurements;
- All the stars in this list have extended atmospheres, many are embedded in mostly opaque dust shells or disks, and most pulsate, such that their radii are not well defined;
- There are theoretical reasons for expecting that no stars in the Milky Way are larger than approximately 1,500 times the Sun, based on evolutionary models and the Hayashi instability zone. The exact limit depends on the metallicity of the star, so for example supergiants in the Magellanic Clouds have slightly different limiting temperature and luminosity. Stars exceeding the limit have been seen to undergo large eruptions and to change their spectral type over just a few months;
- A survey of the Magellanic Clouds has catalogued most of the red supergiants and 50 of them are larger than the 700 R☉ (490,000,000 km; 3.3 AU; 300,000,000 mi) cutoff point of this table, with the largest at 1,200–1,300.
(Sun = 1)
|UY Scuti||1,708||UY Sct is a red supergiant star located in the constellation Scutum. However, the quoted size was measured at indirect methods so it is simply just an estimate. Margin of error in size determination: ± 192 solar radii. With its smallest value, its size would be similar to that of V354 Cephei (see below). With its largest value, its size would be similar to that of the possible size of VV Cephei A.|||
|WOH G64||1,635||This would be the largest star in the LMC, but is unusual in position and motion and might still be a foreground halo giant.|||
|RW Cephei||1,535||RW Cep is variable both in brightness (by at least a factor of 3) and spectral type (observed from G8 to M), thus probably also in diameter. Because the spectral type and temperature at maximum luminosity are not known, the quoted size is just an estimate.|||
|Westerlund 1-26||1,530||Very uncertain parameters for an unusual star with strong radio emission. The spectrum is variable but apparently the luminosity is not.|||
|V354 Cephei||1,520||The luminosity, and hence the size, of V354 Cep are disputed. Levesque et al. 2005, find a high luminosity and consequently very large size of 1,520 solar radii. From the same data, Mauron et al. 2011 derive a lower luminosity, which implies a much smaller size around 690 solar radii.|||
|VY Canis Majoris||1,420||Previously thought to be a star so large that it contradicted stellar evolutionary theory, a newly improved measurement has brought it down to size. Humphreys originally estimated the radius of VY CMa at 1,800–2,100 solar radii. In another opinion (such as Massey, Levesque, and Plez's study) say that the star has a radius around 600 solar radii. Margin of possible error: ± 120 solar radii.|||
|KY Cygni||1,420 (2,850?)||KY Cygni is located in a region with heavy dust extinction, thus making it hard to determine its size. The quoted size is the value consistent with stellar evolutionary models, the true range may be larger but its value is not known. The radius corresponding to the higher luminosity would be 2,850 solar radii. The upper estimate is due to an unusual K band measuement.|||
|AH Scorpii||1,411||AH Sco is variable by nearly 3 magnitudes in the visual range, and an estimated 20% in total luminosity. The variation in diameter is not clear because the temperature also varies. Margin of possible error in size determination: ± 124 solar radii.|||
|VX Sagittarii||1,350–1,940||VX Sgr is a pulsating variable with a large visual range and varies significantly in size.|||
|V766 Centauri A||1,315||Also known as HR 5171 A. V766 Centauri is a highly distorted star in a close binary system, losing mass to the secondary. It is the largest yellow hypergiant star. But may be a K-type star. Margin of possible error: ± 260 solar radii.|||
|Mu Cephei||1,260||Also known as Herschel's "Garnet Star".|||
|PZ Cassiopeiae||1,190–1,940||PZ Cas is located in a region with heavy dust extinction. The upper estimate is due to an unusual K band measurement and thought to be an artifact of a reddening correction error. The lower estimate is consistent with other stars in the same survey and with theoretical models. In another opinion (such as Kusuno and Oyama) say that the star has a radius around between 1,260–1,340 solar radii.|||
|NML Cygni||1,183||NML Cyg is a semiregular variable star surrounded by a circumstellar nebula and is heavily obscured by dust extinction.|||
|VV Cephei A||1,050||VV Cep A is a highly distorted star in a binary system, losing mass to its B-type companion VV Cephei B for at least part of its orbit. Analysis of the orbit and eclipses places a firm upper limit on the possible size at 1,900 solar radii. Older estimates have given much larger sizes.||  [foot 1]|
|KW Sagittarii||1,009||Margin of possible error : ± 142 solar radii.|||
|GCIRS 7||960||GCIRS 7 is marginally resolved at H band. We detect a significant circumstellar contribution at K band. The star and its environment are variable in size. Margin of possible error : ± 92 solar radii.|||
|S Cassiopeiae||930||The largest S-type star existent in Milky Way.|||
|Betelgeuse||887||Also known as Alpha Orionis. Ninth brightest star in the night sky. The angular diameter of Betelgeuse is only exceeded by R Doradus and the Sun. Margin of possible error : ± 203 solar radii.|||
|Antares A||883||Also known as Alpha Scorpii A.|||
|S Persei||780–1,230||In the Perseus Double Cluster.|||
|SU Persei||780||In the Perseus Double Cluster|||
|RS Persei||740–800||In the Perseus Double Cluster.|||
|V382 Carinae||700||Yellow hypergiant, one of the rarest types of star.|||
|CW Leonis||700||The largest carbon star star existent in Milky Way.|||
|Star name||Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
|V509 Cassiopeiae||650||Yellow hypergiant, one of the rarest types of a star.|
|Rho Cassiopeiae||450||Yellow hypergiant, one of the rarest types of a star.|
|Eta Carinae A||430||Also known as Tseen She. Previously thought to be the most massive single star, but in 2005 it was realized to be a binary system. Its size is poorly defined.|
|R Leporis||400||Also known as Hind's "Crimson Star". One of the largest carbon stars existent in the Milky Way. Margin of possible error : ± 90 solar radii|
|La Superba||390||Also known as Y Canum Venaticorum. Currently one of the coolest and reddest stars.|
|V838 Monocerotis||380||Once topped to the list as one of the largest stars, after experiencing a nova outburst it gradually decreased in size, which provided a radius of 1,570 ± 400 solar radii, confirming the earlier indirect calculations.|
|R Doradus||370||Star with the second largest apparent size after the Sun. Margin of possible error : ± 50 solar radii.|
|Mira A||367||Also known as Omicron Ceti. Prototype Mira variable.|
|The Pistol Star||306||Blue hypergiant, currently among the most massive and luminous stars.|
|Alpha Herculis A||264–303||Also known as Ras Algethi.|
|S Doradus||240||Prototype S Doradus variable.|
|Deneb||220||Also known as Alpha Cygni. 19th brightest star in the night sky. Margin of possible error : ± 17 solar radii.|
|Peony Nebula Star||92||Candidate for most luminous star in the Milky Way.|
|Rigel||78.9||Also known as Beta Orionis. Seventh brightest star in the night sky. Margin of possible error : ± 7.4 solar radii.|
|Canopus||71||Also known as Alpha Carinae. Second brightest star in the night sky. Margin of possible error : ± 7 solar radii.|
|Aldebaran||44.2||Also known as Alpha Tauri.|||
|R136a1||35.4||Also on the list as the most massive and luminous star.|
|HDE 226868||20–22||The supergiant companion of black hole Cygnus X-1. The black hole is 500,000 times smaller than the star.|
- Size, mass and luminosity estimates of the VV Cephei system are all considerably uncertain due to insufficient knowledge: Professor Kaler writes "in truth we really do not know". Its distance cannot be measured from parallax, instead it is derived from its assumed membership in the Cepheus OB2 association, but this is also not certain. Other methods give a range of sizes between 1,000 and 2,200 that of the Sun, but these too are confounded by the fact that the star is not spherical, which leads to overestimates. (J. Kaler)
- Levesque, E. M.; Massey, P.; Olsen, K. A. G.; Plez, B.; Meynet, G.; Maeder, A. (2006). "The Effective Temperatures and Physical Properties of Magellanic Cloud Red Supergiants: The Effects of Metallicity". The Astrophysical Journal. 645 (2): 1102. arXiv:. Bibcode:2006ApJ...645.1102L. doi:10.1086/504417.
- Arroyo-Torres, B.; Wittkowski, M.; Marcaide, J. M.; Hauschildt, P. H. (2013). "The atmospheric structure and fundamental parameters of the red supergiants AH Scorpii, UY Scuti, and KW Sagittarii". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 554: A76. arXiv:. Bibcode:2013A&A...554A..76A. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201220920.
- Emily M. Levesque; Philip Massey; Bertrand Plez & Knut A. G. Olsen (June 2009). "The Physical Properties of the Red Supergiant WOH G64: The Largest Star Known?". Astronomical Journal. 137 (6): 4744. arXiv:. 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. Bibcode:2009IAUS..256..454O. doi:10.1017/S1743921308028858.
- Humphreys, R. M. (1978). "Studies of luminous stars in nearby galaxies. I. Supergiants and O stars in the Milky Way". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 38: 309. Bibcode:1978ApJS...38..309H. doi:10.1086/190559.
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