There are numerous celestial bodies in the vast universe, among which the most common are stars and planets, and stars play a very important role in the universe. Although the star is not the most powerful celestial body in the universe, there are neutron stars, black holes and other powerful celestial bodies on it, both neutron stars and black holes are evolved from stars.
And stars not only have strong mass, but also can rely on internal nuclear fusion to emit light and heat, bringing a little light and warmth to the dark and cold universe. At the same time, stars are also the necessary conditions for the birth of living planets. Without the light and heat of stars, the planets in the habitable zone would not have born life, let alone intelligent civilization.
The existence of the sun is very important for the earth to become a living planet. In a sense, the sun is the mother of life on earth. In ancient times, due to the lack of astronomical knowledge, people did not know much about the sun. In the eyes of the ancients, although the sun in the sky is big, it is far from being comparable with the earth where human beings live.
However, as human beings enter the era of science and technology, with astronomical telescopes, we find that the earth is very small in front of the sun. The mass of the sun accounts for 98.86% of the total mass of the solar system. It is located in the center of the solar system and is a giant with a diameter of 1.3 million kilometers. The mass of the earth is only 1.33 million of that of the sun, and it is large enough to hold 1.3 million earths.
Because we are far away from the sun, we think it is smaller. But if we walk out of the earth, no matter when we approach the sun, you will find how huge it is. However, with the continuous improvement of human’s understanding of the universe, we find that the sun is just a small point in the whole family of stars in the universe, and there are countless stars many times larger than the sun. So how big is the largest star in the universe? After watching it, you will doubt your life.
When the mass of a celestial body reaches a certain degree, its internal high temperature and high pressure will ignite the nuclear fusion in the center, thus upgrading an ordinary celestial body to a star. So the original body of a star is also a celestial body like Jupiter and Saturn, but later the condensed mass becomes larger and larger. One day, after meeting the conditions for star upgrading, it will naturally evolve into a star.
Stars are born in star clusters. After the big bang, countless kinds of cloud clusters have been formed. The center of each cloud cluster can form one or several stars under the condensation of gravity. Therefore, the number of stars in the universe can not be estimated. This is a very large family of celestial bodies. In the whole family of stars, there are all kinds of stars, and it is the mass of the star that determines its strength.
The more massive a star is, the stronger its gravity is, and the larger the range of galaxies it can manage. So is there an upper limit on the mass of a star, and what is the maximum? In fact, there is no definite answer to the question whether there is an upper limit on the mass of a star. In the view of scientists, the mass of a star can not be infinite. It must have an ultimate mass, but we are not sure yet.
As for the size of the largest star in the universe, there is no fixed answer. Not to mention the whole universe, even in the 92 billion light-year universe currently observable by human beings, the stars discovered by exploration are also the tip of the iceberg. At present, the largest star observed by scientists should be “scutella uy”, which is 9500 light-years away from the earth and is a red supergiant in scutella.
So how big is “shield uy”? After observation and calculation, scientists found that the diameter of the shield uy is 2.37 billion kilometers, 1700 times larger than that of the sun alone, which means that its volume is enough to accommodate about 4.5 billion Suns or 200 million earths. Even if we fly around the planet at the speed of light, it will take about nine hours.
Some people may not have an intuitive understanding of this data, but if we put uy in the solar system instead of the sun, its volume can be directly extended to Saturn, and four of the eight planets will be directly swallowed up. This shows how huge the shield uy is. So the mass of such a huge star must also be very large?
In fact, the mass of scutellus uy is not big, only 23 times that of the sun. The reason why its volume is so huge is that the life of uy is coming to an end, and it has entered the late years of stellar evolution. The central helium core is growing, which leads to its outer layer expanding outward and transforming into a red supergiant.
Such a huge star, its life span may be only a few thousand years. When its nuclear fuel is burned out, its core will collapse because of its own gravity. At this time, there will be an astronomical spectacle “supernova explosion”, because its mass is large enough, more than eight times that of the sun. Finally, it will collapse into a “black hole” with strong attraction.
The larger the mass of a star, the greater its gravity, but it is very unfavorable for the evolution of a living planet to a civilized planet. As we all know, it takes a very long time for simple life to evolve into intelligent life. It took about 4 billion years for life on earth to complete this process.
If the mass of a star is too large, its life span will be very short. Even if the galaxy gives birth to a life planet, it will be difficult to have enough time to evolve into an intelligent civilization planet. With the mass of the sun, its life span can reach about 10 billion years, which is enough time for life on earth to complete the evolution and development of civilization, thus becoming an interstellar civilization free from the shackles of galaxies.
The mass of a star like uy scutellus is dozens of times that of the sun, and its lifetime is relatively short, probably only tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of years. In such a short time, life is difficult to be born. Even if it is born, it will be devoured and destroyed by the expanding stars. So a stellar system like uy is unlikely to have intelligent civilization.
So is it easier for a star system with a much smaller mass than the sun to produce intelligent civilization because of its longer life span? In fact, the mass of stars is too small, which is not conducive to the birth of life, and the star system that is most conducive to the birth of life is actually a star system with the mass of the sun. Therefore, when scientists are looking for extraterrestrial civilizations that may exist outside the system, their focus is on galaxies that have the same mass as stars and the sun.
Of course, there is no definite answer as to whether uy is the largest star in the universe. The strength of human space science and technology is still very weak. With the continuous progress of science and technology, there will be more powerful astronomical observation equipment in the future, which can see the deeper universe. At that time, maybe we will find larger stars, which will make us doubt the super star of life.
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