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VY Canis Majoris

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posted on May, 23 2011 @ 12:23 AM
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 constellation.

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 life expectancy.

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.

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 12:30 AM
(i guess size does matter

it really is amazing when you think about it

great video...especially the end
i know some people to send this to.

learned something new today, thanks
edit on 23-5-2011 by BadBoYeed because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 23 2011 @ 12:53 AM
Great video! Thanks, OP. Really fascinating video. You get a STAR (pun intended
) from me!


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