supergiant star


supergiant star
Astron. an exceptionally luminous star whose diameter is more than 100 times that of the sun, as Betelgeuse or Antares. Also called supergiant.
[1925-30]

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Star of very great natural luminosity and relatively enormous size, typically several magnitudes brighter and several times larger than a giant star.

Like other classes of stars, they are distinguished in practice by examination of certain lines in their spectra (see spectroscopy). A supergiant may have a diameter several hundred times that of the Sun and a luminosity nearly a million times as great. Supergiants live probably only a few million years, an extremely short life for a star.

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      any star of very great intrinsic luminosity and relatively enormous size, typically several magnitudes brighter than a giant star and several times greater in diameter. The distinctions between giants (see also giant star), supergiants, and other classes are made in practice by examining certain lines in the stars' spectra. A star classed as a supergiant may have a diameter several hundred times that of the Sun and a luminosity nearly 1,000,000 times as great. Supergiants are tenuous stars, and their lifetimes are probably only a few million years, extremely short on the scale of stellar evolution.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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