Scientists click sharpest ever image of most massive known star in the Universe
There is no limit to what we can gaze at into the Universe as the expanse is unimaginably huge. All we can do is improve the way we look at it through our lenses and marvel at the beauty as we understand it further. Scientists have now captured sharpest (yet) image of the most massive star known to us till now. Compared to the mesmerising and breathtaking space images that come our way usually, this one might look ordinary but the observation has led scientists to further refine our understanding of massive stars even bigger than our Sun.
The name of this star is R136a1. It is in the heart of Tarantula Nebula and is the largest known star in the Universe. Previous attempts to click sharp images of this star were successful in a limited way because the star is situated amid dust and near other stars in the nebula.
But now researchers have captured image of R136a1 using 8.1 metre Gemini South Telescope in Chile. Previously, it was thought that this star had a mass between 250-320 times that of the Sun. But the new observations indicate a possibility that R136a1 may only be beetween 170 and 230 times more massive than our Sun. This has helped scientists refine our understanding of the cosmos. Based on these observations, scientists think that “the upper limit on stellar masses may also be smaller than previously thought”.
Giant stars live fast and die young. They burn their fuel quickly and have a life of just a few million years. This may sound a lot but when we compare that to the estimated life of Sun (10 billion years) it's easy to accept that giant stars die out 'quickly'.