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Massive stars – what are they?

5 Jun 2018, 12:10 UTC
Massive stars – what are they?
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Article by Jorick Vink , Astronomer at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
When you are fortunate enough to have a clear view of the night sky, and you start wondering about the properties of all these sources of light, you might be amazed to find out all these stars have different colours, distances, and sizes.
Most stars in our Milky Way have masses like that of our nearest stars, the Sun, but there are also huge, massive beasts out there , some with masses as big as 300 times that of the Sun. These objects shine brilliantly, up to 10 million times more intensely than the Sun.
Stars more massive than 8 times the Sun are called “massive stars”, with lifetimes of just 2 million years, and thus much shorter than the 10 billion years of our Sun. Therefore, they are sometimes called the Rockstars of Astronomy, as they live fast and they die young!
Black Hole Collision from LIGO
Their ferocious nuclear burning, ultimately leads to an Iron core that collapses into a very compact object. For the most massive stars, about 25 times the mass of the Sun, the compact object that is left behind is a Black ...

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