Hello all, just thought i would post a little information on this HUGE star, i found it pretty interesting and hope that some of you will research it
so that you can correct me if im wrong on anything. It was an assessment i had to do for school a while ago. Excuse my amature writing skills haha.
Of all the stars in the known universe, VY Canis major is the largest of them all. Located at RA 7 22 58 Dec -25 26 03. It has a diameter of
approximately 2,800,000,000 kilometres, if a passenger airliner was to fly around the equator without stopping and consistently travelling at 900km/h
it would take 1100 years to get back to its starting point. It is also so large that it takes light (300,000km/s) 8 hours to complete one circulation
of the star. VY Canis Major is a Red Hypergiant star located approximately 1.5 kiloparsecs (5000 light years) away from Earth in the Canis Major
A light year is the distance that light can travel in one year. Light travels at 300,000km/s so its distance in kilometres (300,000km/s *60 seconds
*60 minutes *24 hours *365 days) is 9,460,800,000,000 kilometers (Nine Trillion Four Hundred Sixty Billion Eight Hundred Million Kilometers).
This Red Hypergiant is around 1,800 to a maximum of 2,100 times the radius of our sun (solar radii), this means millions upon millions of sun’s
could fit inside it, and over a million earths could fit into our sun. It would take approximately 70,000,000,000,000,000 (70 quadrillion) Earths to
fill up VY Canis Majoris. If VY Canis Major was to take the place of our sun it would easily outreach Saturn’s orbit in our solar system. Although
it is the biggest star that we humans know of, its mass is only 30 to 40 times that of the sun’s even though it is millions of times bigger.
VY Canis Major is a massive Red Hypergiant which means it is at its biggest possible stage in a stars life cycle, emitting energy at a much faster
rate than most others. Its size and temperature indicates that it is nearing the end of another stage in its life had depleting all of its hydrogen
fuel in its core and has begun fusing hydrogen on a shell outside of a helium core. In 2007 NASA also gathered images from the Hubble telescope
showing eruptions where materials from inside of the star are spurting out into space in knots, arcs and loops. Each loop, arc and knot can be traced
back to huge outbursts that occurred over thousands of years ago. During these outbursts VY Canis major can eject up to 10 times the amount that it
would normally lose in its regular rate.
VY is also 500,000 times brighter than the sun, but the materials it has been spurting out has made a thick dust cloud so its full lumination cannot
be fully seen. From all of these unhealthy signs, it may only last less than a few million years compared to our sun which has a 10,000,000,000 year
Like humans, stars have different stages in their life compared to other stars (although they do follow the general “Fetus – Infancy – Adulthood
– Middle age – Old age and death cycle) so the next stage for VY is unknown and may never be known as it could take 1,000,000+ years for its next
stage to even begin.
The stars surface temperature is guessed to be around 3,500 kelvins (3226 degrees Celsius) which is very cold for a star as our sun burns at 6,000
degrees Celsius on its surface. Unlike “main sequence stars” VY Canis Major has no known photosphere, instead it just trails off into space.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.