ANSWERS: 4
  • The Pistol Star is still very large in volume. It has a mass about 100 times the mass of the Sun and a radius of about 100 million miles (comparable to the Earth-Sun distance, or about 300 times the radius of the Sun). More massive stars are also less dense so take up proportionally more space. Red giant stars (like Betelgeuse and Antares) are also very big in volume.When our Sun becomes a red giant in about 5 billion years it will expand to enclose the inner planets. Antares has a radius about 400 times that of the Sun, so is bigger than the Pistol star in volume despite being smaller in mass. http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=377
  • I think the largest star is Betelgeuse which, if placed in out solar system, would completely engulf the 4 inner planets and most of the asteroid belt. However I am basing this on info I remember from one of the few astrophysics classes I had at uni 10 years ago so could be wrong.
  • The largest star known is VY Canis Majoris. It's 2,100 times the radius of the Sun. http://www.universetoday.com/2008/04/06/what-is-the-biggest-star-in-the-universe/
  • After poking around the ever-helpful Astronomy > Ask an Expert category of the Yahoo! Directory, we discovered that the largest known star, in terms of mass and brightness, is the dramatically dubbed Pistol Star. The Pistol Star is closer to the center of the Milky Way than we are, and isn't visible to the naked eye on account of galactic dust. It's about 100 times the size of our sun, and burns 10,000,000 times as bright. It's called the Pistol Star because it's believed to be the source of a giant nebula, or cloud of dust and gas. Recent pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope confirm this relationship. Originally, the Pistol may have had 200 to 250 times more mass than our sun, before it "fired off" the majority of its mass into the galaxy. The brightest visible star in the night sky is Sirius in Canis Major, a constellation that represents one of Orion's hunting dogs. Ancient astronomers predicted warmer weather when Sirius appeared on the night sky, hence the "dog days" of summer.

Copyright 2018, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy