Striking astronomy video (size of stars)

Just a rather striking visualisation from the BBC website I thought I’d share!

It really is amazing when you think of the scale of things in the universe. I’d seen that viz before but I still like it.

My favorite factoid - the mass of the solar system is the sun, Jupiter, and a rounding error.

Thanks for posting that. I’d read about Canis Majoris several months ago and I’m still feeling vaguely creeped out about the fact that there’s a star that’s roughly the size of Jupiter’s orbit around our sun.

It really is incredible, and apparently that’s not even the largest known star!

Yeah, you tend to forget that Jupiter is so much larger than the other planets. Another fact I was unaware of until reading it on this forum is that all those brightly lit photo’s of the outer planets look nothing like they would actually appear if you were close enough to view them with the naked eye, at those distances the sun is pretty much just a bright star and they would be extremely dark.

Makes sense, but I didn’t realise that.

You’re welcome, and the thing is that’s only the largest star we’re aware of, who knows what’s out there that hasn’t been discovered. Though I imagine there must be some sort of upper mass limit for a star at least.

Yeah, there’s probably a limit, but size and mass are different and they’ve had to rework their models after finding stars more massive than they thought possible. It used to be 150 solar masses, then they found a star with 265 masses.

I’ve read that if our closest star neighbor, Alpha Centauri (actually three stars) was one of these giants, it would be the size of the full moon in our sky.