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Pistol Star

Pistol Star Facts

Information on Pistol Star

The Pistol star is one of the most luminous stars in the the milky way although still small compared to some of the absolute giants out there such as UY Scuti, the current largest star in the galaxy. The more luminous a star is, the more energy that the star produces. the sun`s luminosity is given as 1 and anything bigger means that the star put out more energy. It is a young massive star that is in the Pistol nebula which is near the Galactic Centre of our galaxy. The nebula is a huge area of ionized gas and dust that was ejected from the star many years ago.

Even though it is a youngish star, it is not expected to live as long as other stars and will go supernova in roughly one to three million years. In comparison, our Sun is not expected to go bang for another five billion years but life is expected to have died out one billion years from now. Even if the star went pop tomorrow, it would not affect the Earth because it is so far away and the damaging stuff would have dispersed long before it got to us.

Located near the centre of our galaxy, it could`ve been visible to the naked eye except for the gas cloud that surrounds it therefore obscuring our view of the giant.

Location of Pistol Star

The location of the Luminous Blue Variable 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 Pistol Star, the location is 17h 46m 15.3s and -28 ° 50` 04 .

Physical Properties (Colour, Radius) of Pistol Star

Pistol Star has a spectral type of LBV. This means the star is a blue Luminous Blue Variable.

Pistol Star has been calculated as 306.00 times bigger than the Sun.The Sun's radius is 695,800km, therefore the star's radius is an estimated 212,914,800.00.km. If you need the diameter of the star, you just need to multiple the radius by 2.

Pistol Star Apparent and Absolute Magnitudes

Pistol Star has an apparent magnitude of 11.83 which is how bright we see the star from Earth. Apparent Magnitude is also known as Visual Magnitude. Magnitude, whether it be apparent/visual or absolute magnitude is measured by a number, the smaller the number, the brighter the Star is. Our own Sun is the brightest star and therefore has the lowest of all magnitudes, -26.74. A faint star will have a high number.

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Additional Pistol Star Facts and Figures

Visual Facts


Primary / Proper / Traditional NamePistol Star
Spectral TypeLBV
Constellation's Main StarNo
Multiple Star SystemNo / Unknown
Star TypeLuminous Blue Variable
ColourBlue
GalaxyMilky Way
ConstellationSagittarius
Visual / Apparent Magnitude11.83
Naked Eye VisibleRequires a 4.5 - 6 Inch Telescope - Magnitudes
Right Ascension (R.A.)17h 46m 15.3s
Declination (Dec.)-28 ° 50` 04

Companions (Multi-Star and Exoplanets) Facts


Exoplanet CountNone/Unaware

Estimated Calculated Facts


Radius (x the Sun)306.00

Location of Pistol Star in Sagittarius


Pistol Star Location in Sagittarius

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

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