VY Canis Majoris (VY CMa)
VY Sag-e Bozorg
Fr.: VY Grand Chien
A → red supergiant star which is one of the largest and most intrinsically luminous stars in the sky. It has a radius of about 1,420 solar radii (→ solar radius) and a luminosity of 3 × 105 Lsun (→ solar luminosity). It is about 3,900 → light-years from the Earth. Excluding solar system bodies, VY CMa is the third brightest object in the sky at 10 µm. It has a large optical → reflection nebula, visible through even small telescopes, created by its prodigious mass loss (> 10-4 Msun per year). Its initial mass is estimated to be about 25 Msun and its current mass 17 Msun. Recent observations have shown the presence of submicron → dust grains, with an average radius of ~ 0.5 μm, in the ejecta. These grains are 50 times larger than those found in the diffuse → interstellar medium (P. Scicluna et al., 2015, A&A, 584L, 10S).
Fr.: étoile de type Vz
A class of → O-type stars whose spectra show He II 4686 absorption line much stronger than any other He line especially He II 4541 or He I 4471. Vz stars are thought to be young stars lying close to the → ZAMS (Walborn & Parker 1992, ApJ 399, L87). Alternatively, the Vz characteristics may be related to the wind properties rather than to the youth of the star (Martins et al., 2005, A&A 441, 735).