Scientists knew massive stars existed, but they thought they were much fewer in numbers than smaller ones. This was given mostly by their lifespan, which is shorter than the one of smaller stars. However, researchers were surprised to find over a thousand such big stars, with the help of the Very Large Telescope in Chile.
More massive stars in the universe
These recently discovered massive stars are about 200 times the size of our Sun, which was previously regarded as impossible. They are located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, in the Tarantula Nebula. This area, also known as 30 Doradus, is well-known for its star forming properties. This made the researchers compare this intense activity with that of the universe at its start.
This discovery is meaningful from more points of view. First of all, it proved scientists wrong on the origin and properties of massive stars. More importantly, they seem to have played a role in the birth of the universe. When they die, they apparently influence the formation of black holes. In fact, the moment of their death coincides with such a bright and powerful explosion that an entire galaxy can be affected.
These big stars are a lot more common than we thought
Massive stars have a shorter lifespan because their mass is harder to support. Whenever it gets too heavy, their core collapses, resulting in this powerful explosion called supernova. Researchers thought these events occur quite rarely, namely one in several hundreds of years. However, they now doubt this hypothesis.
This higher number of massive stars discovered indicate that supernovas actually occur more often. Actually, researchers said they are probably 70 percent more common than they thought. Also, since more massive stars are present in the universe, they probably produce black holes bigger than the current average.
These conclusions have been based on the study of one single star-production region. However, the theory is easily applicable everywhere in the universe, suggesting that massive stars are more common and have a bigger influence on the cosmos.
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