Relatable comparison of VY Canis Majoris to the Sun?

  • I was trying to describe how vast the largest known star is to someone and felt I wasn't quite able to relate the scale difference. I know it's roughly 1500 times larger than the sun. Anyone know of a good analogy?


    apologies if this is a bit off topic, I couldn't think of a more appropriate stack to ask it.

    These are perhaps slightly dramatic simulations I'd come across a while ago. However, on a personal level, they never fail to leave me breathless...! (1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoW8Tf7hTGA and (2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bcz4vGvoxQA

    Just point to the sun and indicate how much of the sky would be filled by VY Canis Majoris at the same distance. If that doesn't get the point across, it's pretty much a lost cause. And you might mention how far out the far side would be.

    @user2338816 The notion of *how much of the sky would be filled by the star* doesn't make much sense when you're **inside** the star.

    While this question is certainly not off-topic, it's totally opinion based. Any 1:1500 scale comparison would work, and there's no objective way to decide which one is the best.

    Note: VY Canis Majoris is no longer the largest known star. According to Wikipedia and its sources, there 6 more known stars that have been estimated to be larger: KY Cygni, V354 Cephei, Westerlund 1-26, RW Cephei, WOH G64, UY Scuti. These stars have a ratio of 1500-1900 times larger than the sun.

    @DmitryGrigoryev Why would you consider being at a distance of 146M km to be "inside"?

  • Jacxel

    Jacxel Correct answer

    5 years ago

    After some playing around with wolfram alpha and google my best comparison has been



    The sun compared to VY Canis Majoris is like a donut compared to the London Eye.



    The London Eye is about 120m in diameter, this divided by 1500 is about 8cm which is roughly the diameter of a ring donut.



    VY Canis Majoris


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