Stars come in all manner of sizes, from dwarfs to giants and supergiants. The smallest would fit within the M25, while the largest would extend beyond the orbit of Saturn if relocated to the centre of our Solar System. However, it is the mass of a star that dictates how long it will live for and how it will die. The lower mass limit to stars is just below one- tenth of the Sun’s mass, but the upper limit remains controversial.This talk will focus on the search for the most massive, so-called ‘monster stars’ in the local Universe, which shine up to ten million times brighter than our Sun, albeit only for a few million years.
About Paul Crowther
Paul Crowther is an observational astronomer researching massive stars with large ground-based (ESO VLT, Gemini) and space-based (Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel) telescopes. A Professor of Astrophysics and Director of Teaching in the Department of
Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, he is the co-author of the monograph From Luminous Hot Stars to Starburst Galaxies. He has discussed monster stars in the media including BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and Channel 4 News.