Blue giant

From Academic Kids

In astronomy, a blue giant is a star with a spectral type of O or B and a mass of at least 18 solar masses. They are very hot and emit blue visible light.

In the standard Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, blue giants are found on the upper left corner, thanks to their high luminosity and early spectral type.

Blue giants are extremely luminous, reaching absolute magnitudes of -5, -6 and even higher. Their surface temperature is high enough (20,000 K or more) that a sizable fraction of their energy output is in the ultraviolet range, thus invisible to our eyes.

Most stars of this type are found in O-B associations, large collections of loosely bounded young stars. Since they are so massive, their expected life is very short (in the order of tens or hundreds of million years), and current theories predict that most of them will end their life as supernovae.

Well-known examples include Rigel, Regulus, Saiph, Deneb as well as the precursor of Supernova 1987a, but generally, blue giants are relatively rare.

See also

fr:Gante bleue it:Gigante blu ja:青色巨星

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