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R 126

R 126 or HD 37974 in the Large Magellanic Cloud is a blue giant beyond its main sequence phase. It is the most massive star around which a dust disk has been discovered so far. This contains silicates and stretches in a distance of 120 to 2500 AU from the star.

The life span of such a giant is admittedly much too short for the forming of real planets. Nevertheless this discovery shows that the basic modules for planets could exist around virtually every star, even those with enormous strong stellar winds.

Constellation: Dorado
Distance: 170 000 light-years
Spectral class: Be
Visual magnitude: 10.91
Mass: 70 * Sun
Diameter: > 160 * Sun

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    R 126
The star with its dust disk compared with our solar system (this is not to scale).
Graphic: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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