Oh, how little we know…

This is cool: According to the BBC, astronomers have discovered a star “so big and bright that it stretches the boundaries of what scientists believed was possible”:

The star, known so far only as R136a1, has an observed mass 265 times greater than our sun, and modeling suggests it was once 320 times bigger…

But that’s impossible, scientists say, because no solar systems would ever form around monster stars like R136a1. “Planets take longer to form than these stars take to live and die,” says Crowther, whose team discovered the star using data from both the Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Hubble. Until now, the biggest stars found have been 150 times the mass of the sun, and many theorized that outwardly pushing radiation would cap a star’s growth at some point. Now, they’re not sure what the limit might be.

 

Zoe Romanowsky

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Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Godspy.com. Zo

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