R136a1
R136a1 star
An artist's impression of the super-massive and highly unstable bright star R136a1.
R136a1 Facts
  • R136a1 is 165,000 light years from Earth.
  • It is the most massive and most luminous star ever discovered.
  • The star is in the R136 star cluster, which is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
  • The Large Magellanic Cloud is a nearby dwarf galaxy which orbits the Milky Way.
  • There are several other stars in the R136 cluster which have a mass more than 100 times that of the sun.
  • It is believed these massive stars are the result of large stars colliding and merging.
  • It is thought that R136a1 was previously more massive but has since lost around 15% of its mass.
  • Massive stars are very short lived, existing for only a few million years.
  • The maximum age of most of the stars in the R136 cluster is only 2 million years, our sun is already 4.5 billion years old.
  • Its incredibly large mass makes R136a1 a very unstable star, it may even explode as a supernova before its core collapses.

R136 star cluster
A telescopic image of the distant R136 star cluster, R136a1 is in the center of the image.
R136a1 Radius
R136a1 is a hypergiant with a radius of around 15 million miles (24 million km), which is around 35 times larger than the sun.
R136a1 Mass
R136a1 is estimated to have a mass of around 265 times that of the sun, making it the most massive known star.
R136a1 Temperature
R136a1 is an incredibly hot star with estimated surface temperatures around 53,000C (95,000F), almost 10 times hotter than the sun.
R136a1 Luminosity (energy emitted)
R136a1 is the most luminous star ever detected, it is almost 9 million times more luminous than the sun.

R136a1 Statistics

Also Known As: -

Distance From Earth: 165,000 light years

Constellation: Dorado

Star Type: Wolf-Rayet Hypergiant

Mass: 265 x Sun

Luminosity: Approx 9 million x Sun

Diameter: Approx 30 million miles (48 million km) - 35 x the Sun

Temperature: Approx 53,000C (95,000F)

Age: Approx 1 million years old

Rotation Period: Unknown

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