SCIENCE

Astronomers Spot 9 Monster Stars With Hubble Telescope

"Together these nine stars outshine the sun by a factor of 30 million."

Look out for these monsters.

Scientists using the Hubble Space Telescope have identified nine monster stars with masses over 100 times that of the sun, according to NASA.

The discovery marks the "the largest sample of very massive stars identified to date," NASA said in a statement.

"The detected stars are not only extremely massive, but also extremely bright," the agency explains. "Together these nine stars outshine the sun by a factor of 30 million."

The monster stars are located in the cluster R136, in the Tarantula Nebula within the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 170,000 light-years away from Earth.

The monster stars in cluster R136 are shown toward the bottom right of this image of the Tarantula Nebula.
The monster stars in cluster R136 are shown toward the bottom right of this image of the Tarantula Nebula.

"Because they are so massive, they are all close to their so-called Eddington limit, which is the maximum luminosity a star can have before it rips itself apart; and so they've got really powerful outflows," astrophysicist Paul Crowther of the University of Sheffield told the BBC.

Despite the impressive discovery, not one of the new stars holds a candle to R136a1, the current record holder at 250 solar masses.

All this talk of monsters reminds us of a different group of monster stars: the Monstars of "Space Jam."

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