R136a1: Scientists find the heaviest star of the Universe

July 26th, 2010 - 7:43 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

London, July 26 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists in the United Kingdom say they have discovered a massive star that shines with an intensity, which is 10 million times that of the Sun. The star, which is called - R136a1 is estimated to have once weighed 320 solar masses, hundreds of times heavier than the sun.

The star, which was announced by scientists on Wednesday, is said to be drifting through a neighboring galaxy.

Scientists say the massive heat from the star is burning the star itself. It ought to be mentioned that the stars shrink over time. They are born big and most of its weight and size go off before they eventually die.

Scientists say they discovered the star in the mist of several stars in the Tarantula Nebula, which is about 165,000 light years from our own galaxy, the Milk Way.

Though the R136a1 is the heaviest star ever discovered, it is not the biggest. There are a group of stars called the red giants, which are much bigger than the R136a1.

At its current size, the mass of the R136a1 is tens of times heavier than the sun. And as for its intensity, it is much hotter than the sun by several tens of times.

The R136a1 can reach a surface temperature of a massive 40,000 degrees. According to the reports the scientists are still investigating the properties of the star.

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