Milky Way’s biggest star is dying

July 04, 2022

VY Canis Majoris, which is massive red hypergiant, is considered largest star because it is 1,000 times bigger than Sun

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In the middle of “the vallée des merveilles” in the south Alps.—Unsplash

Astronomers are helplessly observing the Milky Way’s largest star, VY Canis Majoris, dying a slow death.

While scientists cannot protect the mortal star, the observation can help experts understand what happens after a red hypergiant dies.

VY Canis Majoris, which is a massive red hypergiant, is considered the largest because it is 1,000 times bigger than our Sun. Such stars are very rare which is why scientists know very less about what happens after their death.

Previously, astronomers believed that stars turned into supernovae after their death. However, tracing molecular emissions from stars has led them to believe that it might not be the case.

A researcher with the University of Arizona, Lucy Ziurys said that nobody has yet been able to entirely map out any red hypergiant, including the Milky Way’s largest star.

Ziurys and the other researchers think that hypergiants like this one may turn into black holes when they die.


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