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Did you know - Stars: the oldest, biggest and hottest of the bunch

Our first club meeting is on Monday 4 February at 6:30pm, with a presentation by Lesa Moore about astrobiology.

The Oldest Star: One of the oldest stars is HE 1523-0901, often dubbed “The Methuselah Star”, a red giant star approximately 7,500 light years from Earth. It is thought to be 13.2 billion years old, almost as old as the estimated age of the universe itself. Image below is a digitised sky map assembly from data provided by the AAO and UK Schmidt telescopes.

Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), Credit: STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech, and UKSTU/AAO

The Biggest Star: The largest known star is UY Scuti, a red supergiant located about 9,500 light years away in the constellation Scutum. It has a radius estimated to be 1,708 times that of the Sun. If UY Scuti were placed where the Sun is its outer surface would extend beyond the orbit of Jupiter

The Hottest Star: WR 102, a Wolf-Rayet star in the constellation Sagittarius 9,800 light years away is the hottest star known with a surface temperature of 210,000 K. In comparison the Sun has a temperature of 6,000 K. Based on its spectrum, WR 102 is close to the end of its life and is expected to self-destruct in a supernova explosion sometime in the next 1,500 years or so.

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