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List of star extremes

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List of star extremes

This is a list of the extremes of stars.

Age and distance

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Nearest star Sun prehistoric
(3rd century BCE)
1 AU Our local star's distance was first determined in the 3rd century BCE 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. 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
Most distant star Progenitor of GRB 090429B 2009 z=9.4 (13.14 billion ly) The star (gamma ray burst progenitor) that caused this stellar explosion (gamma ray burst) likely gave birth to a black hole. [3]
Oldest star HD 140283 14.5±0.8 billion years the "Methuselah star" [4]
Youngest R136a1
Nearest stars by type
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Nearest "average" star Alpha Centauri
A & B
1839 1.34 parsecs (4.4 ly) This was the third star whose parallax was determined. Before Alpha Cen, 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]
Nearest red dwarf Proxima Centauri 1915 1.30 parsecs (4.2 ly) [5][6]
Nearest degenerate star Sirius B 1852 8.6 light-years (2.6 pc) This is also the nearest white dwarf [NB 4]
Nearest neutron star RX J185635-3754 2000 200 light-years (61 pc) [7][8][9]
Nearest white dwarf Sirius B 1852 8.6 light-years (2.6 pc) Sirius B is also the first white dwarf discovered. [5][10]
Nearest flare star Proxima Centauri
(Alpha Centauri C)
1.30 parsecs (4.2 ly) α Cen C is also the nearest neighbouring star. [11]
Nearest brown dwarf WISE J104915.57-531906 2013 6.5 light-years (2.0 pc) This is a pair of brown dwarfs in a binary system, with no other stars. [12]

Brightness and power

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Brightest star Sun prehistoric m=−26.74 Reported for reference
[NB 5][NB 6]
Brightest star 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] [13]
Dimmest star [NB 5][NB 6]
Most luminous star R136a1 2010 V=−12.5 [NB 8] [14] List of most luminous stars
Most luminous star in a transient event [NB 8]
Least luminous normal star [NB 3][NB 8]
Most energetic star R136a1 2010 B= [NB 9] [14]
Most energetic star in a transient event [NB 9]
Least energetic normal star [NB 3][NB 9]
Hottest Normal Star Eta Carinae
Coolest normal star OGLE TR 122
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Hottest degenerate star KPD 0005+5106 2008 200000
Hottest neutron star

Hottest neutron star

Hottest white dwarf KPD 0005+5106 2008 200000 K [15]
Hottest PG 1159 star/GW Vir star RX J2117+3412 1999 170000 K [16]
Coolest brown dwarf WISE 1828+2650 ≤300 K

Size and mass

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Largest apparent size star Sun prehistoric
(3rd century BCE)
31.6 – 32.7′ The apparent size of the Sun was first measured by Eratosthenes in the 3rd Century BCE,[17] 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 BCE, as 1720 the great circle of the Sun (the orbit of the Earth) [18] Reported for reference
[NB 6]
Largest 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] [19]
Smallest apparent size star [NB 6]
Most voluminous star Westerlund 1 BKS AS 2013 r=1,951-2,544 RSun This star is a strong radio source, with uncertain variability, leading it to have wildly varying size estimates. List of largest stars
Least voluminous normal star OGLE-TR-122B 2005 r=0.1 RSun This star was a Jupiter sized brown dwarf [NB 3] [20][21]
Most massive star R136a1 2010 295 MSun This exceeds the predicted limit of 150 solar masses, previously believed to be the limit of stellar mass, according to the leading star formation theories. [NB 10] [14] List of most massive stars
Least massive normal star [NB 3] List of least massive stars
Most massive stars by type
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Most massive brown dwarf PPl 15 1996 80 MJupiter This is at the limit between brown dwarfs and red dwarfs.[22][23] [22][24][25][26]
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 J1614−2230 2010 1.97 MSun This millisecond pulsar greatly exceeds the predicted limit of neutron star size of roughly 1.5 solar masses. The previous titleholder only massed of 1.67 solar masses. [27][28][29]
Most massive white dwarf RE J0317-853 1998 1.35 MSun [30][31]
Least massive stars by type
Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Least massive brown dwarf List of least massive stars
Least massive degenerate star The least massive type of degenerate star is the white dwarf. See Least massive white dwarf for this recordholder. [NB 4]
Least massive neutron star
Least massive white dwarf SDSS J091709.55+463821.8
(WD J0917+4638)
2007 0.17 MSun [32][33][34][35]


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 Earth [36][37]
Lowest proper motion
Highest radial velocity
Lowest radial velocity
Highest peculiar motion
Lowest peculiar motion
Highest rotational speed of a normal star [NB 3]
Lowest rotational speed

Planetary systems

Star systems

Title Object Date Data Comments Notes Refs See more
Least stars in a star system There are many stars in single star systems
Most stars in a star system Septuple star system Both are called 7-star systems in the 1997 MSC,[38] and appear in the 2008 MSC.[39] [NB 11] [38][39]
Stars in the closest orbit around one another There are many stars that are contact binaries, where the stars are in physical contact with each other
Stars in the most distant orbit around one another [NB 11]
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.[40][41] [5][42]
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) [43]



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