List of largest stars

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Relative sizes of the planets in the Solar System and several well-known stars:
  1. Mercury < Mars < Venus < Earth
  2. Earth < Neptune < Uranus < Saturn < Jupiter
  3. Jupiter < Wolf 359 < Sun < Sirius A
  4. Sirius A < Pollux < Arcturus < Aldebaran
  5. Aldebaran < Rigel A < Antares A < Betelgeuse
  6. Betelgeuse < Mu Cephei < VV Cephei A < VY Canis Majoris

Below are lists of the largest stars currently known, ordered by radius and separated into categories by galaxy. The unit of measurement used is the radius of the Sun (approximately 695,700 km; 432,300 mi).[1]

The angular diameters of stars can be measured directly using stellar interferometry. Other methods can use lunar occultations or from eclipsing binaries, which can be used to test indirect methods of finding stellar radii. Only a few useful supergiant stars can be occulted by the Moon, including Antares A (Alpha Scorpii A). Examples of eclipsing binaries are Epsilon Aurigae (Almaaz), VV Cephei, and V766 Centauri (HR 5171). Angular diameter measurements can be inconsistent because the boundary of the very tenuous atmosphere (opacity) differs depending on the wavelength of light in which the star is observed.

Uncertainties remain with the membership and order of the lists, especially when deriving various parameters used in calculations, such as stellar luminosity and effective temperature. Often stellar radii can only be expressed as an average or be within a large range of values. Values for stellar radii vary significantly in different sources and for different observation methods.

All the sizes stated in these lists have inaccuracies and may be disputed. The lists are still a work in progress and parameters are prone to change.

Caveats[edit]

Various issues exist in determining accurate radii of the largest stars, which in many cases do display significant errors. The following lists are generally based on various considerations or assumptions; these include:

  • Stellar radii or diameters are usually derived only approximately using Stefan–Boltzmann law for the deduced stellar luminosity and effective surface temperature.
  • Stellar distances, and their errors, for most stars, remain uncertain or poorly determined.
  • Many supergiant stars have extended atmospheres, and many are within opaque dust shells, making their true effective temperatures and surfaces highly uncertain.[citation needed]
  • Many extended supergiant atmospheres also significantly change in size over time, regularly or irregularly pulsating over several months or years as variable stars. This makes adopted luminosities poorly known and may significantly change the quoted radii.
  • Other direct methods for determining stellar radii rely on lunar occultations or from eclipses in binary systems. This is only possible for a very small number of stars.
  • Most distance estimates for red supergiants come from stellar cluster or association membership, because it is difficult to calculate accurate distances for red supergiants that are not part of any cluster or association.
  • In these lists are some examples of extremely distant extragalactic stars, which may have slightly different properties and natures than the currently largest known stars in the Milky Way. For example, some red supergiants in the Magellanic Clouds are suspected to have slightly different limiting temperatures and luminosities. Such stars may exceed accepted limits by undergoing large eruptions or changing their spectral types over just a few months (or potentially years).[2][3]

Lists[edit]

The following lists show the largest known stars based on the host galaxy.

Milky Way[edit]

List of the largest known stars in the Milky Way[lower-alpha 1]
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Method[lower-alpha 2] Notes
Orbit of Saturn 2,0472,049.9[4][lower-alpha 3] Reported for reference
UY Scuti 1,708±192[5] AD The radius of UY Sct is more extreme than what current stellar evolution models predict. One paper mentions this extremity, and the reason for it is not yet clear.[6]
V354 Cephei 1,520±304[7] L/Teff
The above radii are larger than what stellar evolution theory predicts, and are thus potentially unreliable
Theoretical limit of star size (Milky Way) ~1,500[7] This value comes from the rough average radii of the three largest stars studied in the paper. It is consistent with the largest possible stellar radii predicted from the current evolutionary theory, and it is believed that stars above this radius would be too unstable and simply do not form.[7]
Reported for reference
VY Canis Majoris 1,421±120[8][lower-alpha 4] AD
KY Cygni 1,420±284–(2,850±570)[7] L/Teff
Westerlund 1 W237 (Westerlund 1 BKS B) 1,241±70[9] L/Teff
BC Cygni 1,230.27[10]1,140±228[7] L/Teff A more detailed but older study gives values of 1,081 R (8561,375) for the year 2000, and 1,303 R (1,0211,553) for the year 1900.[11]
IRC -10414 ~1,200[12] L/Teff
PZ Cassiopeiae 1,190±238(–1,940±388)[7] L/Teff
NML Cygni 1,183[13] L/Teff
GCIRS 7 1,170±60[14]1,368[15] AD
Westerlund 1 W26 (Westerlund 1 BKS AS) 1,165±581,221±120[9] L/Teff
Orbit of Jupiter 1,114.51,115.8[4][lower-alpha 3] Reported for reference
V766 Centauri Aa 1,110±50[16] ? V766 Centauri Aa is a rare variable yellow supergiant.
RT Carinae 1,090±218[7] L/Teff
V396 Centauri 1,070±214[7]1,145.31[17] L/Teff & ?
V602 Carinae 1,050±165[18] AD


CK Carinae 1,013.421,060±212[7] L/Teff
KW Sagittarii 1,009±142[5] AD
AZ Cygni 911+57
−50
[19]
AD
NSV 25875 891[13] L/Teff
V437 Scuti 874[13] L/Teff
LL Pegasi 869[13] L/Teff
V669 Cassiopeiae 859[13] L/Teff
Westerlund 1 W20 (Westerlund 1 BKS D) 858±48[9] L/Teff
VX Sagittarii 853[13]-1,335±215[20] L/Teff
BI Cygni 851.14[10]1,240±248[7] L/Teff
μ Cephei (Herschel's Garnet Star) 830[13]-972±228[21] AD
V1185 Scorpii 830[13] L/Teff
CW Leonis 826[13] L/Teff
LP Andromedae 815[13] L/Teff
U Arietis 801±205[22] AD
RT Ophiuchi 801±217[23] AD
BO Carinae 790±158[7] L/Teff
S Persei 780±156(–1,230±246)[7] L/Teff
SU Persei 780±156[7] – 971.405[17] L/Teff
VV Cephei A 779.27[24] ? & AD
RS Persei 770±30[25] AD
V355 Cephei 770±154[7] L/Teff
GU Cephei A 766.486[17] ?
Betelgeuse (α Orionis) 764+116
−62
[26]
? Tenth brightest star in the night sky.[27]
HD 303250 750±150[7] L/Teff
UU Pegasi 742±193[23] AD
Westerlund 1 W75 (Westerlund 1 BKS E) 722±36[9] L/Teff
V Camelopardalis 716±185[23] AD
V923 Centauri 715.539[17] ?
V528 Carinae 700±140[7] L/Teff
The following well-known stars are listed for the purpose of comparison.
Antares A (α Scorpii) 680[28] AD Fourteenth brightest star in the night sky.[27]
RW Cygni 676.08[10]980±196[7]1,502.16[17] ?
6 Geminorum (BU Geminorum) 670±134[7] L/Teff
TZ Cassiopeiae 645.65,[10] 766.813[17]800±160[7] L/Teff
R Hydrae 631[13] L/Teff
NO Aurigae 630±126[7]1,481.85[17] L/Teff
DU Crucis 629.63[17] ?
IX Carinae 620.718[17]920±184[7] L/Teff
TV Geminorum ~620710[29] L/Teff
R Sculptoris 617[13] L/Teff
V Hydrae 609[13] L/Teff
V419 Cephei 590±118[7] L/Teff
119 Tauri (CE Tauri) 587±85593±86[30] AD
R Leonis Minoris 569±146[23] AD
TX Camelopardalis 560[13] L/Teff
S Orionis 545±142[23] AD
Mira A (ο Ceti) 541[13] L/Teff
T Persei 510±20[25] – 622.081[17] AD
V1427 Aquilae 507[13] L/Teff
HR Carinae B 500±150[31] AD
QY Puppis 485.319[17] ?
V838 Monocerotis 464[32]–730[33] ? & AD
S Pegasi 459±135[23] AD
S Coronae Borealis 457±116[23] AD
IK Tauri (NML Tauri) 451[13] L/Teff
π1 Gruis 447[13] L/Teff
R Aquarii 438±114[23] AD
U Herculis 431±114[23] AD
NR Vulpeculae 426.58,[10] 668.395[17]980±196[7] L/Teff
Pistol Star (V4647 Sagittarii) 420[34] ?
Unurgunite (σ Canis Majoris) 420±84[7] L/Teff
V810 Centauri 420[35] L/Teff
W Aquilae 419[13] L/Teff
R Cassiopeiae 410[13] - 593±181[23] L/Teff & AD
R Aurigae 407±105[23] AD
R Leporis 400±90[36] ?
U Hydrae 395[13] L/Teff
S Scuti 386[13] L/Teff
MZ Puppis 376.973[17] ?
Westerlund 1 W243 (Westerlund 1 BKS G) 376.9[37] ?
U Orionis 370±96[23] AD
R Aquilae 354±99[23] AD
V4650 Sagittarii 350[38] ?
R Serpentis 328±86[23] AD
U Antliae 325[13] L/Teff
Orbit of Mars 322323.1[4][lower-alpha 3] Reported for reference
AH Scorpii 320[39] AD
5 Lacertae (V412 Lacertae) 319.2+26.6
−32.0
[40]
AD
T Ceti 312[13] L/Teff
Y Canum Venaticorum (La Superba) 307[13] L/Teff
R Leonis 299[13] - 409±105[23] AD & L/Teff
R Doradus (P Doradus) 298±21[41] AD
S Ursae Minoris 296±82[23] AD
Rasalgethi A (α Herculis) 284±60 (264303)[42] L/Teff
ο1 Canis Majoris 280±56[7] L/Teff
R Canum Venaticorum 279±75[23] AD
R Aquilae 259±67[23] AD
S Doradus 240±140[43] ?
V424 Lacertae 239±80[22]260±52[7] AD & L/Teff
SW Cephei 234.42[10] L/Teff
W Hydrae 229[13] L/Teff
NGC 6910 RLP 10 (Cygnus OB2-12) 229[44] L/Teff
HR Carinae A 220±60[31] AD
Wezen (δ Canis Majoris) 215±66[45] AD Thirty-sixth brightest star in the night sky.[27]
Orbit of Earth (~1 AU) 214[4][lower-alpha 3] Reported for reference
Enif (ε Pegasi) 210.37 – 210.69[46] ?
Suhail (λ Velorum) 210[47] ?
Deneb (α Cygni) 203±17[48] ? Eighteenth brightest star in the night sky.[27]
Orbit of Venus 158.6[4][lower-alpha 3] Reported for reference
Epsilon Aurigae (Almaaz) 143–358[49] Once thought to be the largest star. Reported for reference
Orbit of Mercury 82.984.6[4][lower-alpha 3] Reported for reference
Rigel (Beta Orionis) 78.9[50] Brightest star in the Orion constellation. Reported for reference
Canopus (Alpha Carinae) 73.3[51] 2nd brightest star in the night sky. Reported for reference
Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) 45.1[52] Brightest star in the constellation Taurus. Reported for reference
R136a1 42.7[53] Most luminous star known. Reported for reference
Polaris Aa (Alpha Ursae Minoris Aa) 37.5[54] Current North Pole star. Reported for reference
Theta Scorpii (Sargas) 26[55] An oblate yellow-white supergiant star in the constellation Scorpius.[56] Reported for reference
Arcturus (Alpha Boötis) 25.4[57] Third brightest star, and brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere. Reported for reference
VV Cephei B 25[58] Companion star of the red supergiant VV Cephei A. Reported for reference
HDE 226868 20[59] Companion star of the black hole Cygnus X-1. Reported for reference
Beta Ursae Majoris (Merak) 3.021±0.038[60] One of the "pointer stars" in Ursa Major. Reported for reference
Vega (α Lyrae) 2.726±0.006 × 2.418±0.012[61] Fifth brightest star in the night sky.[27]Reported for reference
Sun 1 The largest object in the Solar System. Reported for reference

Magellanic Clouds[edit]

List of the largest known stars in the Magellanic Clouds
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Method[lower-alpha 5] Notes
WOH G64 1,540[62] Large Magellanic Cloud L/Teff Surrounded by a large dust cloud.

M31 and M33[edit]

List of the largest known stars in other galaxies (within the Local Group)
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Method Notes
LGGS J004124.80+411634.7 1,240[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004035.08+404522.3 1,230[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004047.82+410936.4 1,010[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004424.94+412322.3 945[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004501.30+413922.5 910[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004447.08+412801.7 825[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004255.95+404857.5 785[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J003913.40+403714.2 640[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004428.71+420601.6 605[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J004607.45+414544.6 560[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J003902.20+403907.3 525[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff
LGGS J003857.29+404053.6 500[63] Andromeda Galaxy L/Teff


Other galaxies (within the Local Group)[edit]

List of the largest known stars in other galaxies (within the Local Group)
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Method[lower-alpha 6] Notes


Sextans A 10 995±130[64] Sextans A L/Teff
Sextans A 5 870±145[64] Sextans A L/Teff
Sextans A 7 710±100[64] Sextans A L/Teff
IC 10 3 685±90[64] IC 10 L/Teff
WLM 14 610±80[64] WLM L/Teff
Sextans B 1 565±70[64] Sextans B L/Teff
IC 1613 2 560±70[64] IC 1613 L/Teff
WLM 12 430±70[64] WLM L/Teff
IC 10 5 420±50[64] IC 10 L/Teff
Sextans B 2 405±90[64] Sextans B L/Teff
WLM 13 380±50[64] WLM L/Teff
Sextans A 6 350±40[64] Sextans A L/Teff
Pegasus 1 340±50[64] Pegasus Dwarf L/Teff
Sextans A 4 335±40[64] Sextans A L/Teff
WLM 11 310±50[64] WLM L/Teff
IC 1613 1 300±40[64] IC 1613 L/Teff
IC 10 2 280±30[64] IC 10 L/Teff
Pegasus 2 260±40[64] Pegasus Dwarf L/Teff
Sextans A 8 260±60[64] Sextans A L/Teff
Sextans A 9 230±50[64] Sextans A L/Teff
IC 10 4 200±25[64] IC 10 L/Teff
IC 10 1 165±60[64] IC 10 L/Teff
IC 10 6 160±25[64] IC 10 L/Teff
Phoenix 3 90±15[64] Phoenix Dwarf L/Teff

Outside the Local Group[edit]

List of the largest known stars in galaxies outside the Local Group
Star name Solar radii
(Sun = 1)
Galaxy Group Method[lower-alpha 7] Notes
NGC 2363-V1 194356[65] NGC 2363 M81 Group ?

Notes[edit]

  1. Currently only contains radii that are stated in the cited papers
  2. Methods for calculating the radius:
    • AD: radius calculated from angular diameter and distance
    • L/Teff: radius calculated from bolometric luminosity and effective temperature
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 At the J2000 epoch
  4. Exact value of 1,421 calculated using L/Teff
  5. Methods for calculating the radius:
    • L/Teff: radius calculated from bolometric luminosity and effective temperature
  6. Methods for calculating the radius:
    • L/Teff: radius calculated from bolometric luminosity and effective temperature
  7. Methods for calculating the radius:
    • L/Teff: radius calculated from bolometric luminosity and effective temperature

References[edit]

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See also[edit]

  • Constellation
  • Lists of stars
  • List of most massive stars
  • List of most luminous stars
  • List of hottest stars
  • List of coolest stars
  • List of most massive black holes
  • List of largest nebulae
  • List of largest galaxies
  • List of largest cosmic structures
  • List of largest exoplanets
  • List of star extremes
  • Star

External links[edit]


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