The most massive star in the universe may be smaller than we thought

R136a1, the most massive known star, is located in the center of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The most massive known star in the universe just got its best close-up ever, revealing that the star might be smaller than astronomers previously thought.

Astronomers using the Gemini South telescope in Chile photographed the star R136a1which is about 160,000 light years from Earth in the center of the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud — a dwarf companion galaxy to the Milky Way. Their observations show that the giant star (and others like it) may not be as massive as previously thought.

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