Are you curious where the superstars live? Then head towards the Tarantula Nebula (Tarantula Nebula) in the Large Magellanic Cloud and continue on for 170,000 light years. There you will find dozens of stars that are 50 times larger than the sun and nine monster stars are 100 times more massive than the sun.
“Together, these nine stars can overshadow the Sun 30 million times,” the European Space Agency said in a press release about the discovery published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
The most massive star in the universe, known as R136a1, is more than 250 times the size of our Sun.
An international team of scientists discovered nine “giants” by combining 3 images taken with a Hubble wide-angle camera and high-resolution ultraviolet images taken with the Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. This discovery is expected to add fuel to the debate on how such massive stars are formed.
“It has been suggested that these monsters are the result of a merger of less extreme stars in close binary systems. From what we know about the frequency of mass mergers, this scenario is not suitable for all the massive stars that we see in R136, ”astronomer Saida Caballero-Nieves of the University of Sheffield said in a statement.
STIS data also showed that giant stars quickly lose mass, throwing out the equivalent mass of the Earth every month.