Massive Star VY Canis Majoris - Polarized Light

VY Canis Majoris is one of the largest known stars in the Universe in respect of size. The diameter of this red hypergiant is about 1400 times larger than the Sun. Because of its size it is devouring itselve, consuming its fuel at fantastic rates. This star releases as much energy in the amount of seconds as our Sun does in an entire year.

Because red hypergiants are so active, their lifetimes are measured only in millions of years which is a blink of an eye compared to the lifetime of the Sun, which is measured in billions of years. At the end of their lifes they explode in hypernovas; these outbursts contain more energy than 100 supernovae.

Credit:

NASA/ESA and R. Humphreys (University of Minnesota)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0703c
Type:Observation
Release date:8 January 2007, 18:20
Size:790 x 790 px

About the Object

Name:VY Canis Majoris
Type:• Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Red Supergiant
• X - Stars Images/Videos
Distance:3500 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
POL0V
550 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
POL60V
550 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
POL120V
550 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

Image Formats

Large JPEG
228.3 KB
Screensize JPEG
239.1 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
256.9 KB
1280x1024
373.0 KB
1600x1200
480.7 KB

Also see our