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  (Source: eso.org)
Scientists find star more than 300 times more massive than the sun.

A UK-led team of scientists say that R136a1 is the most massive star ever found.  According to the Associated Press, a new study finds that it shines millions of times more luminous than the sun.  The star, which is about 265 solar masses, had a birth weight of as much as 320 times that of our sun.

The mammoth star was found at the center of a star cluster in the Tarantula Nebula, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy about 165,000 light-years away from the Milky Way.

The celestial giant is losing mass through powerful winds and burns so brightly that it has already slimmed down considerably over its lifetime, said Paul Crowther, lead astrophysicist at the University of Sheffield in northern England.

"Unlike humans, these stars are born heavy and lose weight as they age," said Crowther. "R136a1 is already middle-aged and has undergone an intense weight loss program, shedding a fifth of its initial mass over that time, or more than fifty solar masses."

The team of scientists compared previous findings from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope with the new readings from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, of two young clusters of stars. They found several stars with surface temperatures over 40,000 degrees — more than seven times hotter than the sun.

The findings from Crowther and his team can be found in the July edition of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

In June, a team of NASA scientists discovered the most powerful gamma rays on record and physicists at the University of Oxford published a study about their findings on whether dark matter in the sun sustains life on Earth in this month's Physical Review Letters journal.



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RE: heh...
By delphinus100 on 7/25/2010 10:46:50 AM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing it's this star's equivalent of the so-called solar wind...


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