We see thousands of stars shining in the night sky and we often get to the question asking ourselves, what is the biggest star in the universe we know about? Stars in the universe are very big and compared to the planets we know they will always be winners in terms of size. The biggest stars in the universe are those who were born big-sized, but have also matured and reached old age. The stars in space are all over and beyond every super-giant star – there is a bigger still.
Looking for the number of stars in the universe? Ha, there are trillions and trillions of stars up there and some stars are equivalent to hundreds of Suns, do you know how big that is?! Their number, mass and brightness is beyond what many scientists thought was possible. Latest theory says that a star’s mass to about 120 times that of our Sun and beyond this, it is still unknown how a star remains stable. Without further ado, here you can find the biggest and brightest star in the universe.
VY Canis Majoris
VY Canis Majoris is a giant star that is 30 to 40 times as heavy as the sun and it is located about 5,000 light years from the Earth. It is 2,000 times bigger than the sun which makes it the biggest star in the universe in terms of size. The star is believed that was discovered by the French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1801. If you try to fly around this star, it would take you about 1100 years. About the brightness, the star emits 500,000 times as much light as the Sun does and its temperature is estimated about 3,200 degrees Celsius. Despite all this theories about the star, there are astronomers that disagree and think that VY Canis Majoris might be smaller.
As VY Canis Majoris defines the biggest star in the universe, R136a1 defines the most massive star in the universe. This star is a part of the super cluster in Tarantula Nebula and weights a significant 265 solar masses more than the Sun. R136a1 has been discovered in 2010 by some British astronomers in the University of Sheffield. The star holds another impressive record for the most luminous star at about 9 million times that of our Sun and 10 million times brighter than our Sun. With a temperature of 40,000 degrees Celsius on its surface, R136a1 gives more energy than all stars that belong in the Orion Nebula.
Mu Cephei is a star found in the constellation Cepheus and it is one of the largest and most luminous stars in the Milky Way. The star is also called red supergiant star and it is the largest star that can be seen with naked eye. Mu Cephei is 40,000 times brighter than the Sun and to match its size it would take a billion Suns. Herschel’s Garnet star has this nick name because of its discoverer, the German-born British astronomer William Herscel. Mu Cephei is unstable nowadays in terms of temperature, size and light output and moreover, it is believed to be nearing its death.