So if you can, go out and take a look at Antares. This part was seen out to six times the size of the photosphere, a radius of nearly 3 billion km, and the wind itself traced out to double that distance!

The parts of a star you see depend on how you look at it. 5. The material on the right is lit by the binary companion star to Antares. on Twitter, Share Wait. Marvel at its brightness, its ruddy hue, and know that it's bigger than whole solar systems… but also that there's much more to learn about it. It'll be about as bright as the full Moon! Submitted for the approval: Everything you didn't know about Are You Afraid of the Dark? Observations like this are important. Like other red supergiants, such as Betelgeuse, the star is comparatively diffuse for its size, containing only around 12 times the Sun’s mass. The Sun's chromosphere is about 3000 – 5000 km deep (less than 1% of the Sun's radius). If you include its chromosphere, wind acceleration zone, and lower part of its wind, it reaches out to a staggering 12 billion kilometers! But there are bigger stars yet. A schematic showing the various layers of Antares compared to the size of the solar system. That title is thought to belong to a star called VY Canus Majoris. By submitting your information, you agree to our, Chosen One of the Day: Brodie Bruce's cousin Walter, WIRE Buzz: The Mandalorian seeks his peops in new spot; Avatar 2 drops first look at Edie Falco; more, Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel poster revealed during Call of Duty's Halloween crossover, Unsolved Mysteries is back with a 'corroborated' ghost story to creep up your October, Why The Boys Season 2 finale fight scene is so satisfying, 11 great horror comics to read for Halloween this year, Animorphs: The Graphic Novel is a 'visceral' adaptation, creator Chris Grine says, WIRE Buzz: Avengers assemble for Biden; Blade Runner comic first look; and Christmas Chronicles, Picard finally joins the game in the Star Trek: The Next Generation finale [Warp Factor 4.5]. He is Oriel, the watcher of the west. Using the Very Large Array (or VLA) in New Mexico, which sees in radio light, they also measured a layer in Antares above that called the wind acceleration zone. The star is a pulsating Slow Irregular variable type which means that its size changes over time.

We don't really understand how the winds from red supergiants are accelerated, for one. *How* big is Antares?

Volume of Antares, lowermost (the exact size of Antares is uncertain, but its estimated radius is between 680 and 800 solar radii = 293,760,000 miles) 6.

We toss around words like "big" and "huge" all the time, but what does this mean on a human scale? Antares is a binary star, and its companion star is a beast, with a mass 7 times the Sun's, and shining over 2,500 times as bright as the Sun.

Pulsations in a star like this generate shock waves that create grains of dust that get lifted away as well, but how that works isn't understood either (as you may recall, that has caused some excitement about the red supergiant Betelgeuse recently). Its photosphere — the part you'd call the surface as seen by eye — is nearly a billion kilometers in diameter, and would reach well past the orbit of Mars if it were in the center of our solar system.

Add the fact that Antares disperses some gases out into space via its stellar wind, and you can see just what a challenge it is for astronomers to gauge its diameter. But Betelgeuse may be 25% closer to Earth than we previously thought, But new observations show that other parts of it extend well beyond that, astronomers measured the chromosphere of Antares, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), E. O’Gorman; NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello, that has caused some excitement about the red supergiant Betelgeuse recently. A radio image of Antares using ALMA (left) shows the star’s immense chromosphere, and then shows that in comparison to observations with VLA (right) that show the wind blowing from the star. After that it will fade as the debris expands, eventually becoming invisible to the eye (which you may already know if you read xkcd). Naturally, the outer edges of Antares’ atmosphere are particularly rarefied. But how super is "super"? In the case of Antares it's enormous. Fixed star Antares represents one of the important four Archangels stars. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello.

I'm not so much impressed by the luminosity "size" of a star is as by its mass.

The Variable Type is usually named after the first star of that type to be spotted. Mind you, red supergiants eventually explode as supernovae, so that's a fairly important reason to figure out what's going here. Note that it VY Canus Majoris is the biggest in size but not mass. It's easy enough to see now (literally; it's up high in the south for northern hemisphere people after the sky gets dark), but just wait until it goes all supernova on us. The highest-resolution visible light image of the photosphere of the red supergiant Antares ever taken, using the Very Large Telescope. And Antares is not even the biggest star. Stars like that fuse elements in their core so rapidly that they blast out light, and it may radiate energy at a rate as much as 100,000 times as much as the Sun does. Except every week in your inbox. When massive stars near the ends of their lives, they swell up and cool off; the spectrum of their light shifts to red, and they become supergiants. By eye, the photosphere is the outermost surface of the Sun, for example; it's where light from the interior finally frees itself and can fly unabsorbed into space. They saw something else, too.