VY Canis Majoris

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VY Canis Majoris

VY Canis Majoris (VY CMa) is a red hypergiant star in the constellation Canis Major. It is about 1.2 kiloparsecs (3,900 light-years) distant from Earth. It is one of the largest known stars, and one of the most luminous of its type.

VY Canis Majoris is between 1420 ± 120 times wider than the Sun.[1] If placed at the center of the Solar System, VY Canis Majoris's surface would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter. Other estimates of the radius make it larger than the orbit of Saturn.[2]

VY CMa is a single star, a 'semiregular' variable with a period of about 2,000 days. It has an average density of 5 to 10 mg/m3.

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Wittkowski M. et al 2012. Fundamental properties and atmospheric structure of the red supergiant VY CMa based on VLTI/AMBER spectro-interferometry. Astronomy & Astrophysics 540: L12. [1]
  2. Massey, Philip; Levesque, Emily M.; Plez, Bertrand (2006). "Bringing VY Canis Majoris down to size: an improved determination of its effective temperature". The Astrophysical Journal 646 (2): 1203–1208. doi:10.1086/505025.