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At 4.7 million times brighter than the sun!

What is the brightest star in the galaxy, in our Milky Way? It is not known exactly, but there is a very good candidate. It is not known because most of the stars in the Galaxy, we can not see, due to the fact that it is concentrated in the galactic plane dust that hides the stars, including the brightest.

But there is a theoretical limit to the mass, and hence on the luminosity of the star. And the star, which is now considered to be the brightest in the Milky Way, close to this limit, so maybe it really is the brightest, or close to the brightest. The star called Eta Carinae (Eta Carina), located in the southern constellation Carina.

Unfortunately, accurately determine the brightness of this star is not possible, because it is immersed in a strong nebula star’s light shield. Astronomers estimate the star Eta Carina shines 4.7 million times brighter than our sun.

Now able to find another star that was seen as the second brightest star in the galaxy. And, there is a chance that it may turn out to be the first (remember accurately determine the brightness of the star Eta Carina is impossible). This star is a star nebula Paeonia (Peony nebula star). It also immersed in the nebula, and its brightness is also not precisely defined.

But astronomers believe that the luminosity of the nebula Peony 3.2 million solar. Star is huge, its size a hundred times more sunlight. And the temperature is also high. The star is classified as blue supergiants, its weight is estimated at 150-200 solar masses (with Nebula).

Such stars are called Wolf-Rayet stars. They are very actively losing weight. The rate of strong solar wind of these stars reaches half a million miles an hour. Probably most of the nebula Peony is just stellar wind formed stars.

Peony nebula star will explode as a supernova soon. No one knows when, but soon it means that maybe tomorrow, maybe millions of years. When it explodes, it will be one of the most powerful explosions in the galaxy, destroying all located next to the star of the planet, if they are there.

But this star is not visible to optical telescopes. It is hidden galactic dust.
Only the space infrared telescope able to detect and investigate this star, which is still called the WR 102ka.

Prior to this star 26 light years and lies in the constellation Sagittarius it. Even the Space Telescope with its high sensitivity it took 4145 seconds for the image. Colors are conditional. Blue channel corresponds to the wavelength of 3.6 microns, green, red and 8 microns 24 microns.

As already mentioned, due to galactic dust the second brightest star of the galaxy is invisible.

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