List of largest known stars

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Not to be confused with List of most massive stars.
The red hypergiant star UY Scuti seen in visible light.

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
StarSolar radii
(Sun = 1)
UY Scuti1,708Margin of error in size determination: ± 192 solar radii. At its smallest, its size would be similar to that of VX Sagittarii (see below).[2]
NML Cygni1,650NML Cyg is an unusual hypergiant star surrounded by a circumstellar nebula and is polluted by severe dust extinction. The quoted size is the most likely value; the true range is between 1,642 to 2,775.[3]
WOH G641,540This would be the largest star in the LMC, but is unusual in position and motion and might still be a foreground halo giant.[4]
Westerlund 1-261,530Very uncertain parameters for an unusual star with strong radio emission. The spectrum is variable but apparently the luminosity is not.[5]
VX Sagittarii1,520VX Sgr is a pulsating variable with a large visual range and varies significantly in size.[6]
VV Cephei A1,050-1900VV Cep A is a highly distorted star in a binary system, losing mass to its B-type companion VV Cephei B for at least part of its orbit.
RW Cephei1,435RW 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 size are just estimates.
VY Canis Majoris1,420Once thought to be a red hypergiant star so large that it contradicted stellar evolutionary theory, improved measurements and estimates have brought it down to size.[7][8]
KY Cygni1,420KY Cygni is located in a region with heavy dust extinction, thus making it hard to determine its size. The quoted size is the value consistent with stellar evolutionary models, the true range may be larger.[9]
AH Scorpii1,411AH 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.[2]
HR 5171 A1,316HR 5171 A is a highly distorted star in a close binary system, losing mass to the secondary.[10]
PZ Cassiopeiae1,260-1,340[11]
KW Sagittarii1,235[2][9]
BC Cygni1,140[9]
V354 Cephei1,104.5[9][6]
RT Carinae1,090[9]
BI Cygni1,078[9][6]
Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis)1,075Ninth brightest star in the night sky.[13]
V396 Centauri1,070[9]
CK Carinae1,060[9]
Mu Cephei (Herschel's "Garnet Star")1,035[9][14]
S Persei1,005In the Perseus Double Cluster.[9]
RS Persei1,000In the Perseus Double Cluster.[9]
NR Vulpeculae980[9]
RW Cygni980[9]
GCIRS 7960[15]
Antares A (Alpha Scorpii A)883
Theta Muscae878
V602 Carinae860[9]
V1749 Cygni830[9]
IX Carinae790[9]
SU Persei780In the Perseus Double Cluster[9]
TV Geminorum770[9]
T Cephei742
V382 Carinae700Yellow hypergiant, one of the rarest types of star.
V509 Cassiopeiae650Yellow hypergiant, one of the rarest types of a star.
TZ Cassiopeiae645
CE Tauri ("Ruby Star")608Can be occulted by the Moon, allowing accurate determination of its apparent diameter.[16]
V355 Cephei535[9][6]
R Leporis ("Hind's Crimson Star")500One of the largest carbon stars existent in the Milky Way Galaxy.
The following well-known stars are listed for the purpose of comparison.
Star nameSolar radii
(Sun = 1)
Alpha Herculis (Ras Algethi)460
Rho Cassiopeiae450A yellow hypergiant, one of the rarest types of a star.
Mira A (Omicron Ceti)400Prototype Mira variable[17]
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 Doradus240Prototype S Doradus variable
La Superba (Y Canum Venaticorum)215One of the coolest and reddest known stars.
Deneb (Alpha Cygni)20319th brightest star in the night sky.
Eta Carinae A (Tseen She)140Previously thought to be the most massive single star, but in 2005 it was realized to be a binary system[18]
Peony Nebula Star100Candidate for most luminous star in the Milky Way.
Rigel A (Beta Orionis A)78Seventh brightest star in the night sky.
Canopus (Alpha Carinae)65Second brightest star in the night sky.
Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri)44.2[19]
R136a135.4Also on the list as the most massive and luminous star known.
HDE22686821The supergiant companion of black hole Cygnus X-1. The black hole is 500,000 times smaller than the star.
VV Cephei B10The B-type main sequence companion of VV Cephei A.

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, N. J.; Wesson, R.; Drew, J. E.; Barentsen, G.; Barlow, M. J.; Walsh, J. R.; Zijlstra, A.; Drake, J. J.; Eisloffel, J.; Farnhill, H. J. (16 October 2013). "The ionized nebula surrounding the red supergiant W26 in Westerlund 1". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 437 (1): L1–L5. doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slt127. 
  6. ^ 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].
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ 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 CMa with VERA". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan (Publications Astronomical Society of Japan) 60 (5): 1007. arXiv:0808.0641. Bibcode:2008PASJ...60.1007C. doi:10.1093/pasj/60.5.1007. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s 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. ^ 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
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Bibcode2014MNRAS.437..843G
  13. ^ Mohamed, S.; MacKey, J.; Langer, N. (2012). "3D simulations of Betelgeuse's bow shock". Astronomy & Astrophysics 541: A1. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201118002.  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. ^ Paumard, T.; Pfuhl, O.; Martins, F.; Kervella, P.; Ott, T.; Pott, J.-U.; Le Bouquin, J. B.; Breitfelder, J.; Gillessen, S.; Perrin, G.; Burtscher, L.; Haubois, X.; Brandner, W. (2014). "GCIRS 7, a pulsating M1 supergiant at the Galactic centre. Physical properties and age". Astronomy & Astrophysics 568 (85): A85. arXiv:1406.5320. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201423991. 
  16. ^ "Big and Giant Stars". Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "The HST Treasury Program on Eta Carinae". 2003-09-01. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  19. ^ 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]