The largest known swarm of red supergiant stars has been found near the central bulge of our galaxy. It offers a rare glimpse of massive stars on the verge of exploding.
Red supergiants are among the largest stars in the universe – and in fact are second in size only to rare 'hypergiant' stars such Eta Carinae. Spanning several hundred times the diameter of the Sun, each could fit millions of Sun-like stars inside it.
These stellar titans are extremely rare. Only very massive stars, more than 10 times as heavy as the Sun, turn into red supergiants. And the red supergiant phase lasts just 100,000 years before ending in a supernova, a fleeting moment compared to the overall lifespan of the star
[+/-] Click here to expand