Monday, February 28, 2005

Supergiant Trio

Captsgeajm44100105211406photo00photodefa A trio of supergiants -- red, cool, bright stars at the end of their lives -- may be the biggest stars ever identified, astronomers reported on Monday.

All three have diameters of more than 1 billion miles, or 1,500 times the sun's girth. If they were in the same location as the sun, they would completely engulf Earth and their outer layers would extend to a point between the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn.

The big three dwarf even Betelgeuse, a well-known supergiant and the brightest star in the constellation Orion, the team of scientists said in research presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting in San Diego. They also are slightly bigger than the previous champion, known as Herschel's "Garnet Star."

Astronomers Identify Trio of Supergiant Stars
By Deborah Zabarenko
Reuters, Mon Jan 10,12:24 PM ET

Posted at 07:51 AM in Science | Permalink


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