The heaviest star discovered may be less massive than previously thought

A new image of the most massive star known in the universe shows that the star may be less massive than previously thought. p style="direction: rtl;">Using the Southern Jumna telescope in Chile, astronomers found out from the star R136a1, which is located at a distance of 160 thousand light years from the Earth in the center of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, that the mass of this giant star and Other similar stars may not be as numerous as previously thought.

BingMag.com The heaviest star discovered may be less massive than previously thought

A new image of the most massive star known in the universe shows that the star may be less massive than previously thought. p style="direction: rtl;">Using the Southern Jumna telescope in Chile, astronomers found out from the star R136a1, which is located at a distance of 160 thousand light years from the Earth in the center of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, that the mass of this giant star and Other similar stars may not be as numerous as previously thought.

  • How much heavier than the Sun are the most massive stars?

Astronomers still do not fully understand the formation process of giant stars with more than 100 times the mass of the Sun, and one of the reasons is the challenge of observing such objects, which are usually located in the heart of dusty star clusters.

Now, however. With the help of the "Zorro" instrument of the Southern Jumna telescope, the most detailed image of the star R136a1 has been revealed. This tool uses a method called "speckle imaging" (Speckle Imaging
) and while combining thousands of images with short exposure of deep space stars, it neutralizes the blurring effect of the Earth's atmosphere.

While While previous observations estimated R136a1 to be between 250 and 320 times the mass of the Sun, recent observations suggest that the star's mass is probably around 170 to 230 times the mass of the Sun. However, he still holds the title of the most famous star.

"Van M. Venu M. Kalari, lead author of the study, which has been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal, said: "This finding suggests that the upper limit of stellar mass may also be lower than previously thought. "

BingMag.com The heaviest star discovered may be less massive than previously thought

Comparison of the dimensions of the stars; R136a1 is seen in the background.
Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

The brightness and temperature of a star is based on its mass, and therefore more massive stars appear brighter and hotter. Previously, astronomers had estimated R136a1's mass by comparing its brightness and temperature with theoretical predictions, but because imaging with the Zorro instrument more accurately separated R136a1's brightness from its surrounding stars, astronomers determined its brightness and mass with greater precision. .

Fast-growing massive stars like R136a1 burn out in just a few million years, then experience a fiery death with supernova explosions. The remnants of such explosions introduce heavy elements into the host galaxies and are responsible for the formation of new stars and planets.

This is the fate of most stars with more than 150 times the mass of the Sun. However, according to the researchers, if the mass of the stars is less than previously thought, maybe supernovas will occur less than expected. NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/University of Alaska Anchorage

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