Size limit on stars

According to Donald Figer (Space Telescope Science Institute) in collaboration with Francisco Najarro (Instituto de Estructura de la Materia in Madrid), there is a limit which stops stars being more than about 150 times more massive than our Sun. Donald measured the masses of stars in the Arches cluster, the densest known cluster of stars in our galaxy, using the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. Using Francisco's detailed models, they found that there were no stars with masses greater than about 130 times the mass of the Sun, although this doesn't rule out very high mass stars which could be created during stellar mergers. However, some of the apparently high mass stars could actually be binary stars that we can't resolve. This would actually reduce the upper limit. The research was published in Nature.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 17th Mar 2005 (10:38 UTC) | Permalink
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