Peony star (WR 102ka) is one of the most luminous stars in our galaxy, it is thought it is actually the second most luminous star after Eta Carinae. Its light is 3.2 miillion times more luminous than the Sun. In addition to being more luminous, it is also 100 times the radius of our Sun and if it was in the centre of our solar system, it would encompass Mercury and our planet would be a lot hotter than it is and probably lifeless too.
The name comes from the belief that the star looks like an ornate flower. Have a look at the picture below from N.A.S.A. and see what you think of the nebula and of its name.
Although it is recognised as being in second place, the star could be brighter and there could even be a brighter star out there somewhere. The star is in an area of space where light is obscured by other stars and dust which means another star is yet to be discovered. NASA
Peony star is located near the centre of the galaxy known as Sagittarius A* where a lot of other massive stars are found such as VX Sagitarri and AH Scorpii. The star when it was born probably had over 150 - 200 times the mass of our Sun. Over time, it would have shed a lot of of its mass in the form of winds because its mass is too big.
It is a candidate for going supernova soon, sometime between now and a few million years. A few million years might not seem soon to you but astronomically speaking it is soon. Our Sun is not expected to go supernova for five billion years but life is only expected to be around for the next billion years as the Sun begins to grow as it ages. Science Daily
Peony Star has alternative name(s) :- WR 102ka.
More details on objects' alternative names can be found at Star Names .
The location of the wolf-rayet star in the night sky is determined by the Right Ascension (R.A.) and Declination (Dec.), these are equivalent to the Longitude and Latitude on the Earth. The Right Ascension is how far expressed in time (hh:mm:ss) the star is along the celestial equator. If the R.A. is positive then its eastwards. The Declination is how far north or south the object is compared to the celestial equator and is expressed in degrees. For Peony Star, the location is 17d 46m 18.12 and -29° 01' 36.6 .
The star is a Wolf-Rayet, a rare type of star of which not many are known. These stars are extremely luminous and large compared to our Sun. They live fast and die hard in a matter of millions not billions of years like our Sun. They exhaust their hydrogen supplies, turning to other gasses and expand outwards with massive solar winds, moving a step closer in the stellar evolution towards their death in a super or hypernova explosion.
Peony Star has a spectral type of WN10 C.
Peony Star has been calculated as 100.00 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 69,580,000.00.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2.
The Parallax of the star is given as 0.13 which gives a calculated distance to Peony Star of 26093.07 light years from the Earth or 8000 parsecs. It would take a spaceship travelling at the speed of light, 26093.07 years to get there. We don't have the technology or spaceship that can carry people over that distance yet.
The star is roughly 1,650,106,951.87 Astronomical Units from the Earth/Sun give or take a few. An Astronomical Unit is the distance between Earth and the Sun. The number of A.U. is the number of times that the star is from the Earth compared to the Sun.
|Primary / Proper / Traditional Name||Peony Star|
|Alternative Names||WR 102ka, WR 102|
|Spectral Type||WN10 C|
|Constellation's Main Star||No|
|Multiple Star System||No / Unknown|
|Star Type||Wolf-Rayet star|
|Right Ascension (R.A.)||17d 46m 18.12|
|Declination (Dec.)||-29° 01' 36.6|
|Distance from Earth||0.13 Parallax (milliarcseconds)|
|26093.07 Light Years|
|1,650,106,951.87 Astronomical Units|
|Radial Velocity||60.00 km/s|
|Radius (x the Sun)||100.00|
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