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VY Canis Majoris!

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:03 am
by Wade Hampton III
This red hypergiant is among the largest known stars in our galaxy. It has an estimated
radius between 1,800 and 2,100 times the radius of the Sun. At this size, it would reach
nearly to the orbit of Saturn if placed in our solar system.
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Yet, our Solar System has an approx. diameter of 287.46 billion km: that is roughly 150
times that of Canis Majoris which is 1.97 billion km.
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Our solar system is comfortably “wider” than one of the largest known single “bodies” out
there, and of course, Pluto is hardly the most remote object defining our solar system,
to begin with. But it is not a fair comparison, the Solar system, much like all planetary
systems, are mostly “empty”. Of course, with our Sun being more than 99% of the total
mass of our solar system, these giant stars are massively heavier - even with the low
densities hypergiants like VY Canis Majoris have, but not “bigger.”
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VY Canis Majoris is located roughly 3,900 light-years from Earth in the direction of
the constellation Canis Majoris.