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List of largest known stars

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Below are lists of the largest stars currently known, ordered by radius and separated into categories by galaxy. The unit of measurement used is the radius of the Sun (approximately 695,700 km; 432,300 mi).[1]

The angular diameters of stars can be measured directly using stellar interferometry. Other methods can use lunar occultations or from eclipsing binaries, which can be used to test indirect methods of finding stellar radii. Only a few useful supergiant stars can be occulted by the Moon, including Antares A (Alpha Scorpii A). Examples of eclipsing binaries are Epsilon Aurigae (Almaaz), VV Cephei, and V766 Centauri (HR 5171). Angular diameter measurements can be inconsistent because the boundary of the very tenuous atmosphere (opacity) differs depending on the wavelength of light in which the star is observed.

Uncertainties remain with the membership and order of the lists, especially when deriving various parameters used in calculations, such as stellar luminosity and effective temperature. Often stellar radii can only be expressed as an average or be within a large range of values. Values for stellar radii vary significantly in different sources and for different observation methods.

All the sizes stated in these lists have inaccuracies and may be disputed. The lists are still a work in progress and parameters are prone to change.

Caveats

Various issues exist in determining accurate radii of the largest stars, which in many cases do display significant errors. The following lists are generally based on various considerations or assumptions; these include:

  • Stellar radii or diameters are usually derived only approximately using Stefan–Boltzmann law for the deduced stellar luminosity and effective surface temperature.
  • Stellar distances, and their errors, for most stars, remain uncertain or poorly determined.
  • Many supergiant stars have extended atmospheres, and many are within opaque dust shells, making their true effective temperatures and surfaces highly uncertain.[citation needed]
  • Many extended supergiant atmospheres also significantly change in size over time, regularly or irregularly pulsating over several months or years as variable stars. This makes adopted luminosities poorly known and may significantly change the quoted radii.
  • Other direct methods for determining stellar radii rely on lunar occultations or from eclipses in binary systems. This is only possible for a very small number of stars.
  • Most distance estimates for red supergiants come from stellar cluster or association membership, because it is difficult to calculate accurate distances for red supergiants that are not part of any cluster or association.
  • In these lists are some examples of extremely distant extragalactic stars, which may have slightly different properties and natures than the currently largest known stars in the Milky Way. For example, some red supergiants in the Magellanic Clouds are suspected to have slightly different limiting temperatures and luminosities. Such stars may exceed accepted limits by undergoing large eruptions or changing their spectral types over just a few months (or potentially years).[2][3]

Lists

The following lists show the largest known stars based on the host galaxy.

Milky Way

List of the largest known stars in the Milky Way
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Method[a] Notes
Stephenson 2-18 2,150[4] L/Teff Located in close proximity to the extremely massive open cluster Stephenson 2 (RSGC2), where 25 other red supergiants are also located. Membership in the cluster currently uncertain, with large uncertainties in the measurements.
Orbit of Saturn 2,0472,049.9[5][b] Reported for reference
UY Scuti 1,708±192[6] AD The radius of UY Sct is more extreme than what current stellar evolution models predict. One paper mentions this extremity, and the reason for it is not yet clear.[7]
RSGC1-F01 1,530[8] L/Teff
The above radii are larger than what stellar evolution theory predicts, and are thus potentially unreliable
Theoretical limit of star size (Milky Way) ~1,500[9] This value comes from the rough average radii of the three largest stars studied in the paper. It is consistent with the largest possible stellar radii predicted from the current evolutionary theory, and it is believed that stars above this radius would be too unstable and simply do not form.[9]
Reported for reference
RSGC1-F04 1,422[8] L/Teff
VY Canis Majoris 1,420±120[10] AD
KY Cygni 1,420±284–(2,850±570)[9] L/Teff
CM Velorum 1,416.24+0.40
−0.96
[11]
L/Teff
AH Scorpii 1,411±124[6] AD
RSGC1-F06 1,382[8] L/Teff
CD-26 5055 1,280+20
−123
[11]
L/Teff
AS Cephei 1,263+19
−9
[11]
L/Teff
RSGC1-F10 1,246[8] L/Teff
Westerlund 1 W237 (Westerlund 1 BKS B) 1,241±70[12] L/Teff
IRC -10414 ~1,200[13] L/Teff
V517 Monocerotis 1,196+80
−159
[11]
L/Teff
PZ Cassiopeiae 1,190±238(–1,940±388)[9] L/Teff
BC Cygni 1,187+34
−37
[11]
L/Teff A more detailed but older study gives values of 1,081 R (8561,375) for the year 2000, and 1,303 R (1,0211,553) for the year 1900.[14]
RSGC1-F05 1,185[8] L/Teff
NML Cygni 1,183[15] L/Teff
GCIRS 7 1,170±60[16]1,368[17] AD
Westerlund 1 W26 (Westerlund 1 BKS AS) 1,165±581,221±120[12] L/Teff
RSGC1-F08 1,150[8] L/Teff
RSGC1-F02 1,128[8] L/Teff
Orbit of Jupiter 1,114.51,115.8[5][b] Reported for reference
V766 Centauri Aa 1,110±50[18] ? V766 Centauri Aa is a rare variable yellow supergiant.
RT Carinae 1,090±218[9] L/Teff
UU Persei 1,079+9
−8
[11]
L/Teff
V396 Centauri 1,070±214[9]1,145.31[19] L/Teff & ?
HD 126577 1,066+9
−32
[11]
L/Teff
V602 Carinae 1,050±165[20] AD
RSGC1-F11 1,035[8] L/Teff
RSGC1-F13 1,017[8] L/Teff
CK Carinae 1,0131,060±212[9] L/Teff
KW Sagittarii 1,009±142[6] AD
RSGC1-F07 1,006[8] L/Teff
V349 Carinae 1,002+12
−74
[11]
L/Teff
RSGC1-F09 996[8] L/Teff
RSGC1-F12 955[8] L/Teff
RSGC1-F03 942[8] L/Teff
AZ Cygni 911+57
−50
[21]
AD
NSV 25875 891[15] L/Teff
V437 Scuti 874[15] L/Teff
LL Pegasi 869[15] L/Teff
V669 Cassiopeiae 859[15] L/Teff
Westerlund 1 W20 (Westerlund 1 BKS D) 858±48[12] L/Teff
VX Sagittarii 853[15]-1,335±215[22] L/Teff
BI Cygni 851[23]1,240±248[9] L/Teff
μ Cephei (Herschel's Garnet Star) 830[15]-972±228[24] AD
V1185 Scorpii 830[15] L/Teff
CW Leonis 826[15] L/Teff
LP Andromedae 815[15] L/Teff
U Arietis 801±205[25] AD
RT Ophiuchi 801±217[26] AD
BO Carinae 790±158[9] L/Teff
S Persei 780±156(–1,230±246)[9] L/Teff
SU Persei 780±156[9] – 971.405[19] L/Teff
RS Persei 770±30[27] AD
V355 Cephei 770±154[9] L/Teff
GU Cephei A 767[19] ?
Betelgeuse (α Orionis) 764+116
−62
[28]
? Tenth brightest star in the night sky.[29]
HD 303250 750±150[9] L/Teff
UU Pegasi 742±193[26] AD
Westerlund 1 W75 (Westerlund 1 BKS E) 722±36[12] L/Teff
V Camelopardalis 716±185[26] AD
V923 Centauri 716[19] ?
V528 Carinae 700±140[9] L/Teff
The following well-known stars are listed for the purpose of comparison.
V354 Cephei 685[30] L/Teff
Antares A (α Scorpii) 680[31] AD Fourteenth brightest star in the night sky.[29]
Mira A (ο Ceti) 541[15] L/Teff
Unurgunite (σ Canis Majoris) 420±84[9] L/Teff
Orbit of Mars 322323.1[5][b] Reported for reference
Pistol Star (V4647 Sagittarii) 306[32] ?
Rasalgethi A (α Herculis) 284±60 (264303)[33] L/Teff
Wezen (δ Canis Majoris) 215±66[34] AD Thirty-sixth brightest star in the night sky.[29]
Orbit of Earth (~1 AU) 214[5][b] Reported for reference
Enif (ε Pegasi) 210.4 – 210.7[35] ?
Suhail (λ Velorum) 210[36] ?
Deneb (α Cygni) 203±17[37] ? Eighteenth brightest star in the night sky.[29]
Orbit of Venus 158.6[5][b] Reported for reference
Orbit of Mercury 82.984.6[5][b] Reported for reference
Vega (α Lyrae) 2.726±0.006 × 2.418±0.012[38] Fifth brightest star in the night sky.[29]
Reported for reference
Sun 1 The largest object in the Solar System.
Reported for reference

Magellanic Clouds

List of the largest known stars in the Magellanic Clouds
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Method[a] Notes
LI-LMC 60 1,765[39] Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
WOH G64 1,540[40] Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff Surrounded by a large dust cloud.
W60 B90 (WOH S264) 1,390+130
−110
[41]
Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff Further investigation is needed to constrain the luminosity and radius with more certainty.[41]
UCAC2 2674864 (HV 2834) 990+115
−100
[41]
Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
HV 12185 890+55
−65
[41]
Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
HV 12793 880+45
−65
[41]
Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
WOH S57 875+70
−60
[41]
Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
SP77 28-2 825±60[41] Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
W61 19-24 780+50
−70
[41]
Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
PMM4 64 730+75
−65
[41]
Small Magellanic Cloud L/Teff
WOH S374 610+75
−60
[41]
Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff

M31 and M33

List of the largest known stars in other galaxies (within the Local Group)
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Method[a] Notes
LGGS J004124.80+411634.7 1,240[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004035.08+404522.3 1,230[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004047.82+410936.4 1,010[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004424.94+412322.3 945[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004501.30+413922.5 910[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004447.08+412801.7 825[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004255.95+404857.5 785[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J003913.40+403714.2 640[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004428.71+420601.6 605[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004607.45+414544.6 560[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J003902.20+403907.3 525[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J003857.29+404053.6 500[42] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff


Other galaxies (within the Local Group)

List of the largest known stars in other galaxies (within the Local Group)
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Method[a] Notes


Sextans A 10 995±130[43] Sextans A L/Teff
Sextans A 5 870±145[43] Sextans A L/Teff
LeoA 7 786.5[44] Leo A L/Teff
Sextans A 7 710±100[43] Sextans A L/Teff
IC 10 3 685±90[43] IC 10 L/Teff
WLM 14 610±80[43] WLM L/Teff
Sextans B 1 565±70[43] Sextans B L/Teff
IC 1613 2 560±70[43] IC 1613 L/Teff
WLM 12 430±70[43] WLM L/Teff
IC 10 5 420±50[43] IC 10 L/Teff
Sextans B 2 405±90[43] Sextans B L/Teff
LeoA 75 404.4[44] Leo A L/Teff
WLM 13 380±50[43] WLM L/Teff
LeoA 90 353.9[44] Leo A L/Teff
LeoA 143 353.7[44] Leo A L/Teff
Sextans A 6 350±40[43] Sextans A L/Teff
Pegasus 1 340±50[43] Pegasus Dwarf L/Teff
Sextans A 4 335±40[43] Sextans A L/Teff
WLM 11 310±50[43] WLM L/Teff
IC 1613 1 300±40[43] IC 1613 L/Teff
IC 10 2 280±30[43] IC 10 L/Teff
Pegasus 2 260±40[43] Pegasus Dwarf L/Teff
Sextans A 8 260±60[43] Sextans A L/Teff
LeoA 203 244[44] Leo A L/Teff Known red supergiant[45]
Sextans A 9 230±50[43] Sextans A L/Teff
LeoA 98 211.2[44] Leo A L/Teff
IC 10 4 200±25[43] IC 10 L/Teff
IC 10 1 165±60[43] IC 10 L/Teff
IC 10 6 160±25[43] IC 10 L/Teff
Phoenix 3 90±15[43] Phoenix Dwarf L/Teff

Outside the Local Group

List of the largest known stars in galaxies outside the Local Group
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Group Method[a] Notes
NGC 2403 V14 1,263[46] NGC 2403 M81 Group L/Teff
M83 10584-25-2 852.8[46] Messier 83 M83 Group L/Teff
M83 10584-13-3 844.8[46] Messier 83 M83 Group L/Teff
NGC 2363-V1 194356[47] NGC 2363 M81 Group L/Teff

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e Methods for calculating the radius:
  2. ^ a b c d e f At the J2000 epoch

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See also

External links