UY Scuti

Since I’m between projects again (Jumpers, a time-travel series debut is off to the editor, and I’m clearing my brains of its remnants), I thought what better time than this to research some stars? Astronomy is like caffeine to me, and it always shakes the gray cells up in the watchtower.

Also, it’s always fun to acquire some perspective on size every now and then. Thus, UY Scuti.

Have you heard of UY Scuti? It’s the largest known star in our galaxy at the moment. I say at the moment because it’s inevitable they’ll find bigger, brighter stars. Maybe in 50 years, UY Scuti will figure in the “average” list.

For now though, UY Scuti is reigning monarch. And here’s its impressive resume:

  • A bright red supergiant and pulsating variable star in the constellation Scutum
  • approximately 9,500 light years from Earth
  • one of the largest known stars by radius and is also one of the most luminous of its kind
  • estimated average median radius of 1,708 solar radii, or a diameter of 1.5 billion mi
  • a volume 5 billion times that of the Sun
  • if placed at the center of the Solar System, its photosphere would engulf the orbit of Jupiter, and may be larger than the orbit of Saturn
  • if Earth were to be livable with UY Scuti at the center of our system, it would have to be placed at a distance of approximately 30 times the distance of Pluto.

Can you figure how long an Earth year would be then?

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books.

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Posted in interesting stuffs, science news, trivia

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