Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is the biggest star we know of?

  1. Nov 4, 2005 #1
    Is it Antares? That is a huge star. Also how does it get to be so big and how long till it goes supernova or is it gonna go supernova?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think, without knowing if any POP III stars are actually "observed", that the Pistol star is thought to be the largest.
  4. Nov 4, 2005 #3
    Thanks labguy, those pics are amazing.
  5. Nov 5, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    Eta Carinae, estimated at 100-120 solar masses, is the most massive star in our neck of the woods. It is very unstable and could go supernova at any time. At 8000 light years, it would probably not be a threat to life on earth, but would put on a fabulous show, being easily visible in the daytime. http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/etacar.html

    The most massive star in our galaxy is probably either the Pistol star [as labguy noted] or the less famous LBV1806-20 located about 45,000 light-years from earth. Both are estimated to be around 150 solar masses.
    Only Pop III stars, theorized to have formed when the universe had hardly any metallicity, are believed capable of being much larger than this. Pop III's may have been as large as 1000 solar masses, although none have actually been observed.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2005
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: What is the biggest star we know of?
  1. The biggest stars (Replies: 3)