Astronomy:List of star extremes

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A star is a massive luminous spheroid astronomical object made of plasma that is held together by its own gravity. Stars exhibit great diversity in their properties (such as mass, volume, velocity, stage in stellar evolution, and distance from Earth) and some of the outliers are so disproportionate in comparison with the general population that they are considered extreme. This is a list of such stars.

Records that are regarded as authoritative and unlikely to change at any given point are recorded on a white background, while those that could change with new information and/or discoveries are recorded on a grey background.

Age and distance

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Nearest star Sun 3rd century BC 1 AU Our local star's distance was first determined in the 3rd century BC by Aristarchus of Samos. Reported for reference
Second-nearest star Proxima Centauri 1915 1.30 pc Also called Alpha Centauri C, it is the outlying star in a trinary star system that includes Alpha Centauri A (Rigil Kentaurus) and Alpha Centauri B (Toliman). This is currently the nearest known neighbouring star to our own Sun. This star was discovered in 1915, and its parallax was determined at the time, when enough observations were established. [NB 1] [1][2] List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs
Most distant individually seen star WHL0137-LS (Earendel) 2022 z= 6.2 ± 0.1

12.9 Gly

[3][4] List of the most distant astronomical objects
Most distant star Stars in HD1 2022 z= 13.27

13.5 Gly (light travel distance)
33.4 Gly (proper distance)

[5] List of the most distant astronomical objects
Most distant star gravitationally bound to Milky Way galaxy ULAS J0015+01 2014 900,000 light-years Located in the Milky Way's extreme outer halo, far beyond the galactic disc. [6]
Oldest star HD 140283 before 1912 14.5±0.8 billion years Commonly nicknamed Methuselah as a result of its extreme age, this subgiant star demonstrates a slight blueshift, indicating that it is moving in a direction towards the Earth. [7] List of oldest stars
Youngest Stars are being formed constantly in the universe so it is impossible to tell which star is the youngest. For information on the properties of newly formed stars, see Protostar, Young stellar object and Star formation.
Nearest stars by type
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Nearest sun-like star Alpha Centauri
A & B
1839 1.34 parsecs (4.4 ly) This was the third star whose parallax was determined. Before Alpha Centauri, the record was held by 61 Cygni, the first star whose parallax was determined. [NB 1][NB 2][NB 3]
Nearest normal star Alpha Centauri C
(Proxima Centauri)
1915 1.30 parsecs (4.2 ly) Before Proxima, the title had been held by Alpha Centauri A & B. [NB 1][NB 3] [8][9]
Nearest red dwarf Before Proxima, the title had been held by Barnard's Star
Nearest degenerate star Sirius B 1852 8.6 light-years (2.6 pc) This is also the nearest white dwarf. [NB 4]
Nearest subdwarf Kapteyn's Star 1898 12.83 light-years (3.93 pc) Kapteyn's star is either a sdM1 subdwarf[10] or a M1.5V main-sequence star.[11][12] WISEA 1810−1010 is the nearest undisputed subdwarf, at 29.03 light-years (8.90 pc). [13] [14]
Nearest borderline subgiant Procyon 11.5 light-years (3.5 pc) All stars closer to the Sun are either main sequence or dwarf stars.
Nearest undisputed subgiant Delta Pavonis 19.9 light-years (6.1 pc) A subgiant, but only slightly brighter than the Sun.
Nearest "true" giant star Pollux 33.8 light-years (10.4 pc) List of nearest giant stars
Nearest red giant Arcturus 36.7 light-years (11.3 pc)
Nearest supergiant Polaris 323 light-years (99 pc) [15] List of nearest supergiants
Nearest carbon star CW Leonis 310 light-years (95 pc)
Nearest F-type star Procyon A 11.46 light-years (3.51 pc) [16]
Nearest A-type star Sirius A 8.6 light-years (2.6 pc)
Nearest B-type star Regulus A 79.3 light-years (24.3 pc) [17]
Nearest O-type star Zeta Ophiuchi 366 light-years (112 pc) [18]
Nearest Wolf–Rayet star Gamma Velorum 1,080 light-years (330 pc)
Nearest neutron star RX J1856.35-3754 2000 400 light-years (120 pc) [19][20][21]
Nearest white dwarf Sirius B 1852 8.6 light-years (2.6 pc) Sirius B is also the second white dwarf discovered, after 40 Eridani B. [8][22][23]
Nearest brown dwarf Luhman 16 2013 6.5 light-years (2.0 pc) This is a pair of brown dwarfs in a binary system, with no other stars. [24]

Brightness and power

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Brightest star from the Earth: Apparent magnitude Sun prehistoric m=−26.74 Reported for reference
[NB 5][NB 6]
Brightest star other than the Sun Sirius
(Alpha Canis Majoris)
prehistoric m= −1.46 [NB 5][NB 6][NB 7][NB 1] List of brightest stars
Brightest star in a transient event Progenitor of SN 1006 1006 m= −7.5 This was a supernova, and its remnant (SNR) is catalogued as PKS 1459-41 [NB 5][NB 6][NB 1] [25]
Dimmest star from the Earth UDF 2457 [NB 5][NB 6]
Most luminous star Godzilla 2022 L= 134,000,000 – 255,000,000 LSun [26] List of most luminous stars
Most luminous star in a transient event Progenitor of GRB 080916C 2008 V=−40 The star exploded in a gamma-ray burst with the total energy equal to 9,000 supernovae [NB 8] List of gamma-ray bursts
Least luminous normal star 2MASS J0523−1403 2013 V=20.6 [NB 3][NB 8] [27]
Most energetic star R136a1 2010 B=-12.5 [NB 9] [28] List of most luminous stars
Most energetic star in a transient event Progenitor of GRB 080916C 2008 [NB 9]
Least energetic normal star 2MASS J0523−1403 2013 L=0.000126LSun [NB 3][NB 9] [27]
Hottest normal star WR 102 T= 200,000 K (200,000 °C; 360,000 °F) [29] List of hottest stars
Coolest normal star S Cassiopeiae T= 1,800 K (1,530 °C; 2,780 °F) [30] List of coolest stars
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Hottest degenerate star CSPN of NGC 4361 2019 270,000 K (486,000 °F) [31]
Hottest neutron star PSR B0943+10 3,100,000 K (5,580,000 °F) [32]
Coolest neutron star PSR B1257+12 28,856 K (51,481 °F)
Hottest white dwarf KPD 0005+5106 2008 200,000 K (360,000 °F) [33]
Hottest PG 1159 star/GW Vir star RX J2117+3412 1999 170,000 K (306,000 °F) [34]
Coolest brown dwarf WISE 1828+2650 250–400 K (−23–127 °C; −10–260 °F) WISE 0855−0714 may be cooler at 225–260 K, but its status as a rogue planet or sub-brown dwarf is not well known as its mass is between 3 and 10 MJ.

Size and mass

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Largest apparent size star Sun prehistoric
(3rd century BC)
31.6 – 32.7′ The apparent size of the Sun was first measured by Eratosthenes in the 3rd century BC,[35] who was the second person to measure the distance to the Sun. However, Thales of Miletus provided a measurement for the real size of the Sun in the 6th century BC, as ​1720 the great circle of the Sun (the orbit of the Earth)[36] Reported for reference
[NB 6]
Largest extrasolar apparent size star R Doradus 1997 0.057" This replaced Betelgeuse as the largest, Betelgeuse having been the first star other than the Sun to have its apparent size measured. [NB 6][NB 1] [37]
Smallest apparent size star Thousands of neutron stars located on the other side of the galaxy, likely impossible to resolve. [NB 6]
Largest star WOH G64 2009 r=1,540 R Consistent with the upper limit for red supergiants of roughly 1,500 R based on the four largest stars measured in a survey, which is consistent with the current stellar evolutionary theory.[38] [39][40][41][42] List of largest known stars
Smallest star EBLM J0555-57Ab 2017 0.084 R [NB 3] [43][44][45] List of smallest stars
Most massive star BAT99-98 2014 226 M This exceeds the predicted limit of 150 M, previously believed to be the limit of stellar mass, according to the leading star formation theories. [NB 10] [46] List of most massive stars
Least massive normal star SCR 1845–6357 A 0.07 M [NB 3] [47] List of least massive stars
Most massive stars by type
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Most massive brown dwarf SDSS J010448.46+153501.8 2017 90 MJupiter This is at the limit between brown dwarfs and red dwarfs.[48][49] [50]
Most massive degenerate star The most massive type of degenerate star is the neutron star. See Most massive neutron star for this recordholder.[NB 4]
Most massive neutron star PSR J0740+6620 2019 2.14 MSun Several candidates exist which have a higher mass, however their mass has been measured by less precise methods and as such their mass value is regarded as less certain. [51] List of most massive neutron stars
Most massive neutron star (disputed) PSR J1748-2021B 2015 2.548 MSun [52]
Most massive white dwarf RE J0317-853/ZTF J1901+1458 1998/2020 1.35 MSun [53][54]
Least massive stars by type
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Least massive normal star SCR 1845–6357 A 0.07 M [NB 3] [47] List of least massive stars
Least massive white dwarf SDSS J091709.55+463821.8
(WD J0917+4638)
2007 0.17 MSun [55][56][57][58]
Least massive brown dwarf (unnamed) 2023 3 – 4 [[Astronomy:Jupiter mass J}}}}}}]] Located in the star cluster IC 348 [59][60] Sub-brown dwarf


Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Highest proper motion Barnard's Star 10.3 "/yr This is also the fourth closest star to the Solar System. [61][62]
Lowest proper motion N/A N/A ~0 "/yr Billions of stars on the other end of the galaxy
Highest radial velocity
Lowest radial velocity EY Aquarii 2013 -870 km/s Mira variable [NB 11]
Highest peculiar motion
Lowest peculiar motion
Highest rotational speed of a normal star VFTS 102 2013 600 km/s [NB 3] [63]
Lowest rotational speed
Fastest velocity of a star S5-HVS1 2019 1,755 km/s

Star systems

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Least stars in a star system There are many single star systems.
Most stars in a star system

QZ Carinae

Nonuple star system[64] System contains at least nine stars.[64] [NB 12] [65][66]
Stars in the closest orbit around one another There are many stars that are in contact binary systems (where two or more stars are in physical contact with each other).
Stars in the most distant orbit around one another Fomalhaut A/B/C ~0.77 parsecs (2.5 ly)
Nearest multiple star system Alpha Centauri 1839 1.30 parsecs (4.2 ly) This was one of the first three stars to have its distance measured.[67][68] [8][69]
Nearest binary star system Luhman 16 2013 1.998 parsecs (6.52 ly) Brown dwarf binary system. The nearest non-brown dwarf binary is Sirius, and the nearest composed entirely of main-sequence stars is Luyten 726-8.
Nearest trinary star system Alpha Centauri 1839 1.38 parsecs (4.5 ly) Also nearest multiple star system, and nearest star system of any type
Nearest quaternary star system Gliese 570 5.88 parsecs (19.2 ly) K4 star orbited by a pair of M stars, all orbited by a T7 brown dwarf.
Nearest quintenary star system V1054 Ophiuchi 6.46 parsecs (21.1 ly) M3 star orbited by a pair of pair of M4 stars, together orbited by an M3.5 star, all orbited by an M7 star.
Nearest sextenary star system Castor 1718 15.6 parsecs (51 ly) A1 star orbited by a red dwarf, both orbited by another A star orbited by a red dwarf, all orbited by two red dwarfs orbiting each other.
Nearest septenary star system Nu Scorpii 150 parsecs (490 ly) A B3V star orbited by an unknown-type star, both orbited by another unknown star, together orbited by another unknown star, all orbited by a B9III star orbiting a pair of stars which are a B9III and unknown star.
Star systems by type
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Shortest period black hole binary system MAXI J1659-152 2013 2.4 hours This exceeds the preceding recordholder by about one hour (Swift J1753.5-0127 with a 3.2 hour period) [70]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Other than the Sun
  2. An "average" star is a normal star which is larger than a red dwarf, but smaller than a giant star. Depending on the definition, this can also be called "Sun-like star".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 A normal star is a star that is past its protostar period, in its main fusion period, before becoming a degenerate star, black hole, or post-stellar nebula, and is not a failed star (brown dwarf).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Not including stellar-mass black holes or exotic stars
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 By visual magnitude (m)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 This is the appearance in the sky from Earth.
  7. This does not include brightest stars due to outbursts
  8. 8.0 8.1 Luminosity here represents how bright a star is if all stars were equally far away, in visible light.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Energetic here is the total electromagnetic energy emitted by a star in all wavelengths.
  10. Not including stellar black holes
  11. Stars with particularly high radial velocities are usually erroneously recorded, so all large values should be taken with a grain of salt.
  12. The allowable distance between components of a star system is debated.


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