In the path of the largest stars in the universe

We think we have found the first hint of the existence of these unusual stars, Corinne Charbonnel, professor of astronomy at the University of Geneva, announced in a press release. Exaggerations are not stolen to describe unusual stars that have hitherto only been considered theoretically.

The most massive star observed to date has a mass equal to just 300 suns. One described in a study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (new window) (in English) With an estimated mass of 5,000 to 10,000 times that of the Sun, it is far behind.

A team led by an astrophysicist, along with scientists from the universities of Geneva and Barcelona and the Institute of Astrophysics in Paris, theorized their existence in 2018 to explain a puzzle in astronomy: the great diversity of the composition of stars in globular clusters.

Usually very old, these clusters are small clusters of several million stars. The progress of astronomy, as a species, reveals their increasing number The missing link Between the first stars and the first galaxies. Our Milky Way contains about 180 globular clusters, containing more than 100 billion stars.recalled a press release from the University of Geneva.

The puzzle lies in the fact that many of the stars in these clusters contain elements that must produce colossal temperatures, up to 70 million degrees for aluminum. At most 15 to 20 million degrees Celsius, stars like our Sun are much hotter than their hearts reach.

The proposed solution is a Pollution A young supermassive star can reach only one extreme temperature. Scientists imagine that such massive stars are born from successive collisions in a restricted and extremely dense space.

A seed star

A A kind of star seed will devour more and more stars, Ms Charbonnel explains to AFP. And as Like a giant nuclear reactor, constantly fed with material, it emits a lot In the cluster. This material will, proportionally, feed young stars in formation A massive star in their vicinity.

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