• Moiya McTier

Astronomy Fun Fact #90

You learned in Fun Fact #89 that there's a lower limit for the mass of a star. There's also a theoretical upper limit.

Stars are a careful balance of gravity pushing in and pressure pushing out. The balance is called hydrostatic equilibrium because it means that the material of the star isn't moving in our out.

But if there's enough mass in a gas cloud, which is where stars form, then the force of radiation pressing out would be stronger than the force of gravity pulling in. This mass limit is called the Eddington Limit named after Sir Arthur Eddington. It puts the upper mass limit for stars at a couple hundred times the mass of the Sun.

Of course, this is only a theoretical limit. The most massive star ever observed (this is not the same as the biggest star, mind you) is R136a1, which has a mass about 300 times that of our Sun, or 6x10^32 kg.

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Astronomy Fun Fact #100!

Alright, friends. Here it is, my 100th and final astronomy fun fact! And what better topic to end on than the ultimate fate of the universe? Scientists more or less agree that the universe started wit

Astronomy Fun Fact #99

Astronomy is often viewed as an unnecessary science because people think astronomy research doesn't directly affect people's lives. Astronomers don't develop medicines, unravel the mysteries of brain