List of largest known stars

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Not to be confused with List of most massive stars.

Below is a list of the largest known stars by radius. The unit of measurement used is the radius of the Sun (approximately 695,500 kilometers, or 432,450 miles).

The exact order of this list is not complete, nor is it perfectly defined:


List of the largest stars
Star nameSolar radii
(Sun = 1)
UY Scuti1,708[2]Error in size determination: ±192 solar radii. At the smallest, it would have a size similar to VX Sagittarii (see below)
NML Cygni1,650[3]
WOH G641,540[4]This would be the largest star in the LMC, but is unusual in position and motion and might still be a foreground halo giant.
Westerlund 1-261,530-1,580[5] (–2,544) [6][7]Very uncertain parameters for an unusual star with strong radio emission. The spectrum is variable but apparently the luminosity is not.
VX Sagittarii1,520[8]VX Sgr is a pulsating variable with a large visual range and varies significantly in size.
KY Cygni1,420–2,850 [9]The upper estimate is due to an unusual K band measurement and thought to be an artifact of a reddening correction error. The lower estimate is consistent with other stars in the same survey and with theoretical models.
VY Canis Majoris1,420Once thought to be a star so large that it contradicted stellar evolutionary theory, improved measurements have brought it down to size.[10][11]
AH Scorpii1,287-1,535[2]AH Sco is variable by nearly 3 magnitudes in the visual range, and an estimated 20% in total luminosity. The variation in diameter is not clear because the temperature also varies.
RW Cephei1,260–1,610 [citation needed]RW Cep is variable both in brightness (by at least a factor of 3) and spectral type (observed from G8 to M), thus probably also in diameter. Because the spectral type and temperature at maximum luminosity are not known, the quoted sizes are just estimates.
PZ Cassiopeiae1,190-1,940[9] 1,260-1,340[12]The largest estimate is due to an unusual K band measurement and thought to be an artifact of a reddening correction error. The lowest estimate is consistent with other stars in the same survey and with theoretical models, and the intermediate ones have been obtained refining the distance to this star, and thus its parameters.
VV Cephei A1,050–1,900VV Cep A is a highly distorted star in a close binary system, losing mass to the secondary for at least part of its orbit.
HR 5171 A1,056–1,575[13]HR 5171 A is a highly distorted star in a close binary system, losing mass to the secondary.
KW Sagittarii1,009[2]-1,460[9]
Mu Cephei (Herschel's "Garnet Star")650[14]-1,420[9]
BI Cygni916[8]-1,240[9]
V354 Cephei690[8]-1,520[9]
S Persei780-1,230[9]In the Perseus Double Cluster
BC Cygni1,140[9]
RT Carinae1,090[9]
V396 Centauri1,070[9]
CK Carinae1,060[9]
V1749 Cygni620-1,040[9]
RS Persei1,000[9]In the Perseus Double Cluster
NR Vulpeculae980[9]
RW Cygni980[9]
Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis)950[15]
GCIRS 7960[16]
Antares A (Alpha Scorpii A)883
V602 Carinae860[9]
TZ Cassiopeiae800[9]
IX Carinae790[9]
SU Persei780[9]In the Perseus Double Cluster
TV Geminorum770[9]
V355 Cepheus300[8]-770[9]
V382 Carinae700Yellow hypergiant, one of the rarest types of star.
The following well-known stars are listed for the purpose of comparison.
CE Tauri ("Ruby Star")[17]608Can be occulted by the Moon, allowing accurate determination of its apparent diameter.
Alpha Herculis (Ras Algethi)460
Rho Cassiopeiae450Yellow hypergiant
Mira A (Omicron Ceti)400[18]Prototype Mira variable
V838 Monocerotis380Once topped to the list as one of the largest known stars, after experiencing a nova outburst it gradually decreased in size
R Doradus370Star with the second largest apparent size after the Sun.
The Pistol Star306Blue hypergiant, among the most massive and luminous stars known.
S Doradus100-380Prototype S Doradus variable
La Superba (Y Canum Venaticorum)215One of the coolest and reddest known stars.
Deneb (Alpha Cygni203
Eta Carinae A (Tseen She)85–195[19]Previously thought to be the most massive single star, but in 2005 it was realized to be a binary system
Peony Nebula Star100Candidate for most luminous star in the Milky Way.
Rigel A (Beta Orionis A)78
Canopus (Alpha Carinae)65Second brightest star in the night sky.
Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri)44.2[20]
R136a135.4Also on record as the most massive and luminous star known.
HDE22686820-22The supergiant companion of black hole Cygnus X-1. The black hole is 500,000 times smaller than the star.
VV Cephei B10

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Levesque, E. M.; Massey, P.; Olsen, K. A. G.; Plez, B.; Meynet, G.; Maeder, A. (2006). "The Effective Temperatures and Physical Properties of Magellanic Cloud Red Supergiants: The Effects of Metallicity". The Astrophysical Journal 645 (2): 1102. arXiv:astro-ph/0603596. Bibcode:2006ApJ...645.1102L. doi:10.1086/504417.  edit
  2. ^ a b c Arroyo-Torres, B.; Wittkowski, M.; Marcaide, J. M.; Hauschildt, P. H. (2013). "The atmospheric structure and fundamental parameters of the red supergiants AH Scorpii, UY Scuti, and KW Sagittarii". Astronomy & Astrophysics 554: A76. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201220920.  edit
  3. ^ Zhang, B.; Reid, M. J.; Menten, K. M.; Zheng, X. W.; Brunthaler, A. (2012). "The distance and size of the red hypergiant NML Cygni from VLBA and VLA astrometry". Astronomy & Astrophysics 544: A42. arXiv:1207.1850. Bibcode:2012A&A...544A..42Z. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219587.  edit
  4. ^ Emily M. Levesque, Philip Massey, Bertrand Plez, and Knut A. G. Olsen (June 2009). "The Physical Properties of the Red Supergiant WOH G64: The Largest Star Known?". Astronomical Journal 137 (6): 4744. arXiv:0903.2260. Bibcode:2009AJ....137.4744L. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/137/6/4744. 
  5. ^ Wright, Nicholas J.; Roger Wesson; Drew, Janet E.; Geert Barentsen; Barlow, Michael J.; Walsh, Jeremy R.; Albert Zijlstra; Drake, Jeremy J. et al. (2013). "The Ionized Nebula surrounding the Red Supergiant W26 in Westerlund 1". arXiv:1309.4086 [astro-ph.SR].
  6. ^ Clark, J. S.; Ritchie, B. W.; Negueruela, I.; Crowther, P. A.; Damineli, A.; Jablonski, F. J.; Langer, N. (2011). "A VLT/FLAMES survey for massive binaries in Westerlund 1". Astronomy & Astrophysics 531: A28. arXiv:1105.0776. Bibcode:2011A&A...531A..28C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201116990.  edit
  7. ^ Clark, J. S.; Ritchie, B. W.; Negueruela, I. (2010). "A serendipitous survey for variability amongst the massive stellar population of Westerlund 1". Astronomy and Astrophysics 514: A87. arXiv:1003.5107. Bibcode:2010A&A...514A..87C. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200913820.  edit
  8. ^ a b c d Nicolas Mauron; Eric Josselin (2010). "The mass-loss rates of red supergiants and the de Jager prescription". arXiv:1010.5369 [astro-ph.SR].
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Levesque, E. M.; Massey, P.; Olsen, K. A. G.; Plez, B.; Josselin, E.; Maeder, A.; Meynet, G. (2005). "The Effective Temperature Scale of Galactic Red Supergiants: Cool, but Not as Cool as We Thought". The Astrophysical Journal 628 (2): 973. arXiv:astro-ph/0504337. Bibcode:2005ApJ...628..973L. doi:10.1086/430901.  edit
  10. ^ Wittkowski, M.; Hauschildt, P. H.; Arroyo-Torres, B.; Marcaide, J. M. (2012). "Fundamental properties and atmospheric structure of the red supergiant VY Canis Majoris based on VLTI/AMBER spectro-interferometry". Astronomy & Astrophysics 540: L12. arXiv:1203.5194. Bibcode:2012A&A...540L..12W. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219126.  edit
  11. ^ Choi, Yoon Kyung; Hirota, Tomoya; Honma, Mareki; Kobayashi, Hideyuki; Bushimata, Takeshi; Imai, Hiroshi; Iwadate, Kenzaburo; Jike, Takaaki; Kameno, Seiji; Kameya, Osamu; Kamohara, Ryuichi; Kan-Ya, Yukitoshi; Kawaguchi, Noriyuki; Kijima, Masachika; Kim, Mi Kyoung; Kuji, Seisuke; Kurayama, Tomoharu; Manabe, Seiji; Maruyama, Kenta; Matsui, Makoto; Matsumoto, Naoko; Miyaji, Takeshi; Nagayama, Takumi; Nakagawa, Akiharu; Nakamura, Kayoko; Oh, Chung Sik; Omodaka, Toshihiro; Oyama, Tomoaki; Sakai, Satoshi; Sasao, Tetsuo; Sato, Katsuhisa; Sato, Mayumi; Shibata, Katsunori M.; Tamura, Yoshiaki; Tsushima, Miyuki; Yamashita, Kazuyoshi (2008). "Distance to VY VMa with VERA". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan (Publications Astronomical Society of Japan) 60: 1007. arXiv:0808.0641. Bibcode:2008PASJ...60.1007C. doi:10.1093/pasj/60.5.1007. 
  12. ^ Kusuno, K.; Asaki, Y.; Imai, H.; Oyama, T. (2013). "Distance and Proper Motion Measurement of the Red Supergiant, Pz Cas, in Very Long Baseline Interferometry H2O Maser Astrometry". The Astrophysical Journal 774 (2): 107. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/774/2/107.  edit
  13. ^ o. Chesneau; a. Meilland; e. Chapellier; f. Millour; a.m. Van Genderen; y. Naze; n. Smith; a. Spang; Et Al. (2014). "The yellow hypergiant HR 5171 A: Resolving a massive interacting binary in the common envelope phase". Astronomy & Astrophysics. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201322421.  edit
  14. ^ Tsuji, Takashi (2000). "Water in Emission in the Infrared Space Observatory Spectrum of the Early M Supergiant Star μ Cephei". The Astrophysical Journal Letters 540 (2): 99–102. arXiv:astro-ph/0008058. Bibcode:2000ApJ...540L..99T. doi:10.1086/312879. 
  15. ^ Graham M. Harper et al. (2008). "A NEW VLA-HIPPARCOS DISTANCE TO BETELGEUSE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS". The Astronomical Journal 135 (4): 1430–1440. Bibcode:2008AJ....135.1430H. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/135/4/1430. 
  16. ^ Paumard, T.; Pfuhl, O.; Martins, F.; Kervella, P.; Ott, T.; Pott, J.-U.; Le Bouquin, J. B.; Breitfelder, J. et al. "GCIRS 7, a pulsating M1 supergiant at the Galactic centre. Physical properties and age". arXiv:1406.5320 [astro-ph.SR].
  17. ^ "Big and Giant Stars"
  18. ^
  19. ^ "The HST Treasury Program on Eta Carinae". 2003-09-01. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  20. ^ Richichi, A.; Roccatagliata, V. (2005). "Aldebaran's angular diameter: how well do we know it?". Astronomy and Astrophysics 433: 305–312. arXiv:astro-ph/0502181. Bibcode:2005A&A...433..305R. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20041765. 

External links[edit]