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“I could have been a big star!”

800px-Sun_and_VY_Canis_Majoris_svgNot to state the obvious, but Sol isn’t the only star out there. However, it is the one we’re most familiar with, which makes sense, given how completely we depend on it. And it doesn’t matter where on the planet you are, it’s true for all humans, despite how different most people are from one another.

Stars can make the same claim. There’s a vast difference between them, and while they have some common traits, no two are completely identical.

In fact, some stars couldn’t be any more different from our Sun.

For example, VY Canis Majoris, which is about 3,900 light years from Earth, and is the largest known star to date.

We know that about 1.3 million planets the size of Earth would fit inside our Sun. Well, about 6.8 billion Suns would fit inside VY Canis Majoris. If VY Canis Majoris was to take the place of our Sun, it would envelope all the planets out to, and including, Saturn.

Put another way, VY Canis Majoris has a radius that’s about 1,800 larger than Sol’s.

It’s also unusual in that it’s atypically bright for a star that large.

But it’s in that way that it fits right in with the rest of the Universe. If there’s one thing nature does well, it’s present us with the strange and exotic.

Maybe stars like VY Canis Major are the embodiment of the dreams of the cosmos.

Let that inspire you as well.

Dream.

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