The brightest star

 
Published: Sunday 30 November 1997

astronomers say they have identified what might be the milky way's brightest star -- one that releases nearly 10 times the power of sun. Experts at the University of California at Los Angeles ( ucla ) used nasa 's orbiting hubble space telescope to identify the pistol star, that revealed a bright nebula in the milky way galaxy's centre.

ucla astronomer Don Figer said that this star may have been more massive than any other star when it was formed, and now, it is still without question among the most massive. Spanish astronomer Francisco Najarro at Germany's University of Munich Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics will be doing computer models to determine whether pistol star is, indeed, the galaxy's brightest star. If its luminosity turns out to be at the low end of current estimates, pistol star will be among the half dozen brightest stars, Figer said.

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