Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Naos, the closest supergiant blu star

 Zeta Puppis, also known as Naos, is a supergiant blue star visible in the constellation of the Stern, about 1000 light years away from the Solar System.

Of spectral class O4, Naos is one of the brightest and hottest stars visible to the naked eye. In the wavelengths of visible light Zeta Puppis is in fact 10 thousand times brighter than the Sun, but if we consider its bolometric luminosity (that is on all wavelengths) then it is more than 500 thousand times brighter than our star.

Being the closest blue supergiant ever to Naos Earth, it has been studied very intensively by astronomers. Despite this, numerous uncertainties remain about its physical properties: its mass should be between 22 and 56 solar masses, while its diameter between 16 and 25 solar diameters.

Like all spectral O-class stars, Naos is characterized by a strong stellar wind, whose velocity was measured to be 2500 km/s. So it turns out that every year the star ejects into space almost a millionth of its mass.

Credit: Palomar Observatory.

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