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ToSeek
2005-Mar-10, 05:54 PM
Hubble weighs in on the heaviest stars in the galaxy (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0503/09heavystars/)


Astronomers have taken an important step toward establishing an upper limit to the masses of stars. Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, they made the first direct measurement within our Milky Way Galaxy, and concluded stars cannot get any larger than about 150 times the mass of our sun.

jfribrg
2005-Mar-10, 06:33 PM
What happens if a star with the maximum mass were to enter into a dense gas cloud? Does it go supernova? or does it eject more mass than it attracts? or does it form a black hole without blowing up? or something else?

Ilya
2005-Mar-10, 09:01 PM
What happens if a star with the maximum mass were to enter into a dense gas cloud? Does it go supernova? or does it eject more mass than it attracts? or does it form a black hole without blowing up? or something else?

The reason stars have an upper mass limit is because beyond that radiation pressure blows off outer layers until the star shrinks to "legal size". That same radiation pressure will not allow any outside gas to fall onto the maximum mass star either -- rather, it will blow surrounding gas away. Hence the answer to your question is: as the star traverses the cloud, it will leave a big empty hole in its wake. If the cloud is small enough, it will disperse completely. No effect on the star itself.