HomeReportsRed supergiant stars 'dance' because they have too much gas

Red supergiant stars ‘dance’ because they have too much gas

An artist’s impression of exoplanets orbiting a red supergiant. The bright light in the distance comes from a faraway star of a similar size. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Scientists can finally explain why some massive stars appear to dance around in the sky even though they are not actually moving: The stars have unusually bubbly guts that cause their surfaces to wobble, thus changing the amount of light they give off, according to a new study. 

The dancing stars are known as red supergiants, enormous stellar objects that have swelled up and cooled down as they’ve neared the end of their lives. These stars are about eight times more massive than the sun and can have a diameter up to 700 times that of the sun, which would be the equivalent of the sun’s surface reaching beyond the orbit of Mars (engulfing Mercury, Venus, Earth and the Red Planet in the process). However, despite their colossal stature, these slowly dying behemoths can be extremely challenging to locate with precision. 

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