If you want to fly around the star VY Canis Majoris and return to your starting point again, you'll need 1,100 years to do this. If you managed to make a scaled model with Earth represented as a 1cm-diameter sphere, you'll have to represent VY CMa with a sphere of 2.3km in diameter. No surprise, its size is 3,063,500,000,000 meters or 3.063 billion km in diameter.
This hyper monster is 450,000 times brighter than our Sun, which you aren't even able to look at directly for just a few seconds. You might think that this star is far away from us, yet it’s 4,900 light years away from planet Earth which is not a big deal in the field of Astronomy.
VY CMa changes its light and luminosity in an estimated period of time of 2,000 days, which gives an indication of the extremely quick chemical interactions and probably unimaginable nuclear explosions happening in this star and other similar hypergiants.
The scientifically predicted fate of VY CMa is to die as a hypernova, the fiercest and most devastating dying process for a star in the cosmos. This is expected to take place in less than 100,000 years.
Learning about VY CMa is not just for its star celebrity. Since this star has a high level of variability rate, and releases such enormous amounts of energy and luminosity, by studying the reasons behind these characteristics we could create an imitated technology of it on Earth one day. Perhaps we could create “Stellar Reactors” to generate large amounts of energy that could illuminate a metropolitan city for decades with lower costs, less pollution and higher efficiency. Vehicles fuels, medicine and other fields could also benefit from such breakthroughs.
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